Set in the Smoky Mountains, the play is based on a traditional ballad, The Ballad of Barbara Allen. The Appalachians have a strong cultural heritage and spectacular folklore. These pristine traditions have been preserved over the generations. In Dark of the Moon, a Witch Boy (Mitchell Martin) wants to be turned into a human in order to marry the beautiful Barbara Allen (Molly Haragan) with the copper hair. He can live his life wholly human provided she is true to him for a year. Otherwise, he will revert to a witch, live 300 years, and turn into the mist on the mountains. Dark of the Moon is the most blatant and terrifying story of what can happen to a community when fear of the unknown drives well meaning people, and in this case, ethereal creatures, to refuse to accept the differences within each culture. The result is tragic.
Change is difficult. In this play, the demands on each culture take their toll. With the witch boy’s request fulfilled, he enters into the human world. The natural order, maintained by the witches, is in disarray. Both the ethereal and those of the flesh are struggling to find balance and order in their Town of Buck Creek. In honor of the Appalachian traditions, the actors have worked as an ensemble to tell the tale in a truthful way that defines the "why?’: because the story is a beautiful, tragic tale of consequential intolerance, and these days, we could all use a little more love and acceptance in our lives.
The music, the ballads, the dances and the folklore came to America in the hearts and minds of the Irish, the English, the Scots and the Welsh. Most of the lyrics are still passed on orally. The dances are a celebration of community and the purging of toil built up over a long week’s work. The dances spin, the songs are still sung and the stories are still told all over the world, including every week/files/storyimages/in our own Renfro Valley. Join Walden Theatre for a trip to Appalachia, and discover what can happen when people refuse to recognize and embrace differences.
Dark of the Moon opens Thursday, February 28th at 7:30 and runs through March 8th at Walden Theatre, 1123 Payne Street. Call 589-0084 for more information
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