By Ashley Rader
Just as the Rev. Samuel Doak called for settlers to make the march to King’s Mountain, S.C., the organizers of “Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals” are issuing a call for more volunteers to fill roles in the annual outdoor drama.
The final tryout for the 36th edition of the drama will be held Saturday, March 1, beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the “Gathering Room” in the visitors center at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
Auditions will be held for both speaking and non-speaking roles, said Sycamore Shoals Park Manager Jennifer Bauer.
And those aren’t run-of-the-mill roles, she pointed out, saying volunteers can choose if they want to portray a longhunter, a colonial settler or a Native American.
“A longhunter was one of the earliest settlers,” Bauer said. “They would have spent more time in the wilderness hunting and trapping. The colonial families were more settled. They had homes. They farmed.”
“Liberty!” tells several stories of the history of the Elizabethton area, including a series of events that had a major impact on shaping the history of the country: the formation of the Watauga Association, the Transylvania Purchase, the Siege of Fort Watauga and the Muster of the Overmountain Men before leaving for Kings Mountain to fight the British.
Auditions are open to anyone who is interested in participating, and Bauer said no set skill level is needed for the drama. Participants will even be loaned time-period appropriate clothing by Sycamore Shoals park if they do not have their own.
“That is what makes this so interesting and so successful,” she said. “This is done totally by volunteers. They may have ancestors who marched on Kings Mountain. They may just have a keen interest in history. It overwhelms me how many volunteers we have.”
Bauer said no one is turned away, but she warned that actors might not get the speaking part they want if they have auditioned for one of those roles.
“Not everyone gets a speaking role,” she said. “They are still part of the settlement. They are still in the drama. If we have enough people who want to be in it, then we have understudies for some of the major roles.”
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