In a one-night event, STARS Community Drama Troupe will give a special performance of historical dramas portraying important figures from local and state history, including those buried in the historic cemetery behind the Arts Center.
The performances are intended to raise awareness of the people who have made meaningful contributions to the local community.
STARS Community Drama Troupe director Tisha Gotte started the local Canton group 10 years ago. She also teaches theater classes at the Arts Center on North Street.
The director at the Arts Center, Mary Akers, approached Gotte and pitched the idea of doing a drama program about people from the local community’s past who are now buried in the Riverview Cemetery behind the Arts Center.
Some of Gotte’s older theater students decided to take on the program. The project has now grown to include Canton residents and volunteers from the Arts Center knowledgeable about the community.
“One problem right from the program’s beginning was the lack of information about the women in Riverview Cemetery. We were looking for women from the Civil War period or earlier to portray, but unfortunately we were only able to find references such as the “wife of” or “daughter of” someone else. That disappointed our group, as it is made up of predominantly women,” Gotte said.
To address this problem, each actor in the troupe was given the opportunity to go outside the community and find women who interested them and were listed in Georgia’s official history record.
“We were then able to come up with some very colorful and fun women to include in the program,” the director said.
For the most part, the actors will be portraying real people from Georgia‘s past. One young actor, 12-year-old John Haas, will be sharing a story about one of Georgia‘s 12-year-old drummer boys from the Civil War.
Another young local actor, Anna Brewer, will bring to life the story of Carrie Berry, a 10-year-old girl from Atlanta who kept a diary of her family’s experience during the Civil War.
Sandy McGrew, a local photographer, will portray a woman presenting letters from her son Eli Landers, who served in the Civil War and wrote home faithfully.
Aaron Gotte will be portraying Capt. Nehemiah Garrison, an interesting man buried in the Riverview Cemetery.
Gotte said he felt a connection to Garrison as he learned about his life story. Gotte has a particular interest in Georgia military history and will be entering the military in the fall.
The program will include some special songs from the South’s past and a few other surprises.
After the show, the audience will be invited to a reception to meet and talk to the actors.
The Arts Center is located at 94 North Street in Canton and the performance begins at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Tickets are available at the Arts Center or through Tix.com. For information, call (770) 704-6244 or email Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets will be available the night of the performance at the door.