BOONE — Ever wondered how Boone got its name and if it had anything to do with Daniel Boone? What about where the first church was in Boone, or the location of the original hospital? The play “Happy Birthday, Boone!” will allow attendees to find out.
Blue Ridge Community Theatre, the area’s oldest community theater organization, is producing a “once in 150 years” theatrical event as a gift to our unique town. “Happy Birthday, Boone!” takes a multimedia approach to telling Boone’s story, past and present. This celebration combines live performance, music, and video with actors from three generations to honor our town with both humor and reverence.
The show is created and directed by Ms. Trimella Chaney, Boone’s beloved high school theatre teacher of 30 years, and is being staged in conjunction with the Boone 150 Celebration, commemorating the sesquicentennial founding of the Town of Boone, North Carolina. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on June 24 and 25 at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country.
“’Happy Birthday, Boone!’ is a unique theatrical presentation honoring our unique town on its 150th birthday,” said Cheney. “Expect to see familiar faces in the show, both in live scenes and in video. Our youngest citizens are a part of this celebration as well as some of our most established residents.”
Allie Pearce is serving as assistant director for the production. Chaney cast local talent, including her former students, and Boone’s former mayor Lorretta Clawson. Cast also includes Dusty Stacy, Juanita Hay, Brianne Thurman, Jeannie Caviness, Hank Caviness, Allie Pearce and Rumi Petersen, along with theater veterans Peyton Walton and Amy Beane, of BeanStalk Community Theatre. The children’s chorus is directed by Ms. Kathy Cotrell, who is also a retired teacher.
Additional live music is provided by Kevin Eller, Drew and Dustin Petrey, and District Court Justice, Rebecca “Becca” Eggers-Gryder. The Daniel Boone Chapter of the DAR is also involved in the event.
The story revolves around two fictional Boone families, weaving in video interviews of Boone’s oldest citizens filmed in collaboration with the Appalachian State University Communications program. It is also fitting that the performances will take place downtown in the recently renovated historic Appalachian Theatre on King Street.
“I have enjoyed the process of writing the show and learned a lot from this adventure,” said Cheney. “My biggest problem was choosing what material to omit because Boone has such a rich heritage. This is an entertainment piece, not an historical documentary. It is a fun look at our friends and neighbors and the lives we lead living here in this unique mountain town.”