For Tickets call: 423-378-3967 or click the button below to order your tickets online
Thursday, April 12th – School Performance 10am.
Friday, April 13th – Public performance 7pm
Saturday, April 14th – Public performance 7pm
Sunday, April 15th – Public performance 2:30pm
Through the talents of our teachers, choreographers and artists we wanted our audience to become involved in Kingsport’s Centennial celebration by way of a non-traditional storytelling method – contemporary dance. We did not set out to tell the literal story of how Kingsport became a city. We instead wanted to help people experience what it might have been like to live here in 1917 in the best way we know – a physical, visual and emotional representation on the stage.
Our teachers and choreographers were asked to “pull threads” from the story of Kingsport. They were asked to draw from significant and insignificant (yet relevant) elements of that time. Then stringing them together, we would create a story by intertwining those threads. One of the first threads that became woven into our imaginations was the charming term “we’re going to have our beauty struck” used by a teenage girl from nearby Asheville in her diary referring to one of her favorite pass-times with friends – going downtown to have their pictures taken. We knew immediately that with our Eastman history we had to incorporate this societal trademark of the time in some way.
Another thread that grasped our imaginations was the “Plant Your Victory Garden” propaganda slogan used during recruitment efforts for WWI. The rural migration and urban growth that resulted from the coming of the railroad and Second Industrial Revolution, was another significant thread we were compelled to portray. As you will see in this performance, rural people and their lifestyles were, and are, paramount to the foundation of Kingsport. This premise also gave birth to the name we chose for our production – Seeds of Change. Both in a literal and figurative sense, the fertile lands and their people, were the seeds that gave growth to the industrial city that became Kingsport.
Yet another thread was the challenge of the Great War. Just as the city of Kingsport was being built and industry was creating a solid base for growth, the war called men to leave their farms and jobs and homes. This catapulted women into the workforce out of necessity, challenging established gender roles of the time. Their significant contributions outside the home drove women to fight for their vote and voice in society. Furthermore, upon the ending of the war and the industrial reshuffling that followed, Kingsport’s leaders’ resilience and flexibility allowed them to re-purpose the industry that had boomed in support of the war, transforming those changes into post-war success. And soon after, women also earned their right to vote in 1920.
And last but certainly not least, the thread that was the coming of the railroad had to be represented as a critical and pivotal event, making everything else possible.
We took artistic liberties and imagined relationships, love triangles, battle wounds, broken hearts and childhood dreams, because that’s just the privilege of making art! We hope you enjoy our centennial production as much as we have enjoyed creating it!
Eastman’s Toy F. Reid Center
For School Performance Tickets: 423-378-3967