Shade of the Trees
Written by Kenley S. Smith
Directed by Pat Wilhelms
Performed August 25 - 30, 2009
HENRIETTA/GIRL: Heidi Klockenbrink
ABSALOM/GHOST/GUY: Dorian Dozier
GRANDMOTHER: Martha Boswell
HANK/BOY: Chris Brumback
DADDY/STORYTELLER: Barry Bedwell
MOTHER/STORYTELLER: Mary Best Bova
LESTER ATKINSON: Brian O’Sullivan
Stage Manager: Ben R. Williams
Scenery Production: Jimmy Ward Scenic
Scenic Design and Painting: Jimmy Ray Ward
Technical Direction and Construction: Karen and Ayme Gierchak
Lighting Design: Rob Bessolo
Special Thanks to: Roanoke Children's Theatre, Roanoke Times/ roanoke.com, City Magazine, New City Media and the Playwright's Lab at Hollins University
About the Play
In Civil War-era Virginia, a 12-year-old girl aids a young runaway slave and finds that she must choose between loyalty to her new friend and her perceived duty to her society. The action takes place on a farm in the mountains of Virginia.
The time ranges from 1863 to 1930 to present day.
About the Playwright
Kenley Smith is a founding board member of Studio Roanoke, will receive an MFA in Playwriting from Hollins University in October. He also earned an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins in 1982. His play, DEVIL SEDAN was featured at the 2008 Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, NE, and was produced by Baby D Productions in Omaha in January, 2009. DEVIL SEDAN also won first place at the Barter Theatre’s 2008 Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights and took top honors this year in the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Joe McCabe Memorial Playwriting Competition. His “Famous Bobby Pence” trilogy — consisting of DEVIL SEDAN, TWELVE STATIONS OF THE CROSS and THE NEW TESTAMENT— will be produced at Studio Roanoke in 2010. Kenley participates regularly, both as a writer and performer, at No Shame Theatre. His fiction has won contests sponsored by Mountain State Press and the Abingdon (VA) Highlands Festival. From 1989 to 2000, he served as President and Chief Instructor for Car Guys, Inc., a high-performance motorsports school.
Kenley thanks everyone who ever told him a story. Even the tiniest seeds, in time, can flourish and bear fruit.
About the Director
Pat Wilhelms is the Artistic Director of Roanoke Children's Theatre, Professional Theatre For Kids located inside the Taubman Museum of Art, where she has directed MADELINE'S CHRISTMAS, and CHARLOTTE'S WEB. She has enjoyed working on this wonderful piece of theatre written by Kenley Smith and the partnership with Studio Roanoke on this production. She will jump into the Sci-Fi world next when Roanoke Children's Theatre presents THE GIVER, based on the book by Lois Lowry October 6th-11th . Visit their website roanokechildrenstheatre.org for details.
About the Designer
Jimmy Ray Ward holds an MFA in Scenography from UNC-Greensboro. His credits include work at many theatres along the East coast such as Spoleto Festival USA, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Seaside Music Theatre, Flatrock Playhouse, and the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. As resident designer for Mill Mountain Theatre for the last nine seasons, some favorite designs include scenery for INTO THE WOODS, BIG RIVER, SEUSSICAL, GREASE, and PROOF, costumes for HAMLET, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and JOSEPH…TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, and lighting for DRIVING MISS DAISY, WIT, and RAPUNZEL, among many others. Now working for his own company, Jimmy Ward Scenic, he continues to design and produce regionally, while also teaching at area colleges, including Radford, Hollins, and Virginia Western. Despite years of working in a field he loves, Jimmy feels that his best productions to date are his two children, Henry and Lily.