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Abiding Place

Abiding Place


By Phillip Lewis
Directed by Eugene O'Hare
Produced by Maggie Miller & Marylou Morrison
May 19-28, 2006
Morrison Theater, Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts, Brevard College

Cast

Paula Johnson..........................Alma Edge
Hawk D'Onofrio........................Nathaniel Edge
Daisy Talley..............................Sanatha Miliken
Jerry Coggins...........................Sheriff Hardee
Bob Baldridge...........................Gaston Thrailkill
Ed Daigle..................................Judge Formyduval
Darien Aiken..............................Preacher Gore
Joe Narsavage .........................Broadus Collins
Ray Bennie...............................Musical Accompanist





Synopsis

With Abiding Place, playwright Phillip Lewis tells a powerful and emotional tale, a true story passed down in his family for generations. The play is set in Conwayborough, South Carolina in 1848, and focuses on a small farm bordering the Waccamaw River. The story relates events in the lives of Carver and Alma Edge who, with their 17-year-old son Nathaniel, struggle to work and purchase their sharecropper farm through the sale of timber. Through carefully-crafted opening scenes, the play establishes how their rafts of cut logs, which are about to be sold as final payment for the farm, are stolen. Carver and Nathaniel track down the apparent thief and, following a confrontation, shoot and kill him. An immediate trial finds both father and son guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged. A crafty lawyer uncovers extenuating circumstances of the crime and convinces Carver that he can obtain pardons for both, at a cost equal to the sale of their recovered logs. Carver reluctantly agrees and things move rapidly. A "kindly" judge releases the son to his father's custody, after being satisfied that Carver has no way of planting and harvesting his crops without the young man's help. The condition of release is that Carver must bring his son back in October -- to be hanged! The play proceeds to unveil the multifaceted emotional, spiritual and ethical dilemmas created by these bizarre, but factual, events.

Notes

Winner of BLT's 2005 New-Play Competition