One family’s true account of
GREED, MURDER, and a BURIED TREASURE
hidden on an island, up a river … near a volcano.
Based on an essay by RODNEY LETCHWORTH
Adapted for stage by HERB DONALDSON
Fri. April 19 at 7pm / Sun. April 21 at 3.pm (Matinee)
Debra Dix Bishop, Andrew Bracci, Constance Clineman, Ken Clineman, William P. Hill, Drew Hudson, Doug Jones, Scott Joyner, Desmond Maxwell, Helen McLaughlin, Murray McLaughlin, and Taryn Pfister
Pre-Recorded Music Selections: Sammy Tedder & Frank Lindamood
Live Music Performances: Ernest & Sarah Toole
Lights & Sound: Mike Shurlock
Stage Manager: Tawanna Williams
** T I C K E T S **
$10 (Regular) / $7 (Seniors & Students)
Or visit Wakulla Co. Public Library
(Ask for Scott Joyner)
The Old Sopchoppy High School
164 Yellowjacket Avenue / Sopchoppy, Florida
Palaver Tree Theater Company is presenting a presentation of THE WAKULLA VOLCANO as part of the annual Wild About Wakulla Week.
Friday, April 19th @ 7pm
Saturday, April 20th @ 3pm
Rodney Letchworth, a fifth generation native of Leon County, recounts the passing of his Uncle Mike, in 1986. A legend in his own time, ‘Uncle Mike’ has told his children, nieces and nephews of his many adventures, including the one about ‘Pirate Gold’, said to be off Ward island, located near Wakulla County.
Mandalay, a community on the Aucilla River, about a mile south of Ward Island, was the home of the Parker family in the late 1800’s.One evening, a man – lost and exhausted – staggered out of the swamps and into their front yard. After helping him inside, and feeding him, the dying stranger tells of being lost in the swamp for days.
As his story unfolds, he talks of being a young man, working on a pirate ship, sailing the Gulf from Key West to Mexico, in search of other ships to rob. From here, his tale is one of murder, greed, and a secret over 50 years old that involves a treasure map where gold can be found ‘on an island, up a river, near a volcano’.
To repay their kindness, he then gives the treasure map to the - stunned - Parker family. By the next morning the stranger is dead. The Parkers’ decide to send their oldest child, a boy in his late teens, across the swamp with the map to seek the possible fortune. The boy is destined never to return. His body is found three days later, floating down the Aucilla River. He’d been shot in the back. The treasure map is gone.
Years later, a Parker grandson becomes the best friend of ‘Uncle Mike’. The two attempt to solve the puzzle and find the treasure. They search in vain until their own deaths. Rodney Letchworth picks up where his Uncle Mike has left off. This is only the beginning of his personal search and uncovering of true facts about ‘an island, up a river, near a volcano’, in our area.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
By H. Donaldson
To say it was a ‘dark and stormy night’ is putting it mildly for this past Saturday’s one-night staged reading of Barbara Lebow’s play, The Left Hand Singing. However, theatergoers from as far away as Panama City and Monticello braved the weather and packed the house in honor of Black History Month.
The play, featuring Allyse Francis, Elizabeth Edgeworth, Curtis Fornes, Layne Davis, Louise Reid Ritchie, George King, and Mary Ruth Bradford, was directed by Herb Donaldson, and produced by Palaver Tree Theater and the Wakulla County Christian Coalition.
Taking place during the ‘Freedom Summer of 1964’, the story centered on three students from different cultures who decide to travel south in an effort to register Negroes to vote in Mississippi. When word gets out that the students are missing, their parents rush to the scene from New York, North Carolina, and Alabama to join in the search. From there begins a trail of setbacks, disappointment, and the heartbreak of knowing your child has been lying at the bottom of a river for almost four years, with local authorities shrugging their shoulders in response
This past weekend’s performance was dedicated to the memory of those three young men and countless others who stood valiantly –not for the sake of ‘color’ – but for the humanity of others. They weren’t too young to realize that by protecting another’s humanity, they were, in fact, protecting and claiming their own.
Looking back, the bravery of the young during the Freedom Summer of ‘64, is beyond imagination. Especially when recalling the brief life of Mr. George Calvin Bess, Jr. ‘Calvin’, as he was called by those who knew him, was a young man who lived on Liberty Street (of all places), in Tallahassee.
Not only was he socially active, but he’d won a scholarship to Harvard University. In 1967, when there were no classes in which Calvin found interest during the Harvard summer term, he decided to help register voters in Selma, Alabama. Although his family wasn’t keen on the idea, his father didn’t think Selma was as bad a place as others.
Sometime later Calvin called his parents and told them that he opted to go to Mississippi instead.
“You’re in a no-man’s land now, son,” were among the last words Calvin’s father ever spoke to him. On the first Sunday of August 1967, when at the age of 22, Calvin’s parents received the call that he and his friend were found dead in their car, in a Mississippi swamp. Although Calvin’s death was called a ‘drowning’, the lack of water where their bodies were found, along with the excessive bruising on Calvin’s body from a possible beating, remains under suspicion to this day.
It was truly a surreal moment when, after the reading, members of George Calvin Bess, Jr.’s family were asked to stand in honor of yet another American life ended far too soon.
The Palaver Tree Theater Co.
Presents a STYLIZED READING PRESENTATION of
The LEFT HAND SINGING
By Barbara Lebow
Saturday, Feb. 23rd
7pm at the Old Wakulla County Courthouse
Mary Ruth Bradford
Louise Reid Ritchie
and Cherrye Bass-Branch
During the turbulent ‘Freedom Summer’ of 1964. Linda, Honey, and Wes decide that they want to make a difference. A voter’s registration drive for the Negroes of Mississippi needs volunteers — why not travel south and help?
When their parents receive frightening phone calls alerting them that their children have disappeared, the southern terrain of the civil rights era becomes a place where the true nature of the American spirit is put to the test.
This play is loosely based on the true life disappearance of three civil rights workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner
Presented in honor of Black History Month
In association with
The Wakulla County Christian Coalition
$5 Donation is requested.
*No one will be turned away for inability to pay*
Contact 718-682-3870 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Palaver Tree Theater Co. presents
A behind the scenes look at this seasons upcoming projects
LEFT HAND SINGING
WAKULLASTORY: A Mania for Speculation
(Wakulla Co. & The Forbes Purchase)
The Wakulla Volcano
SCENE in WAKULLA: New Plays / New Films Fest
Wakulla’s Working Waterfronts
Guests include: Jenny Jones (Wakulla County Christian Coalition/Black History Month partner)
Madeleine Carr (Historian and co-writer of this season’s WakullaStory)
Brent Thurmond (Clerk of Court for Wakulla/WakullaStory Contributor)
Cathy Frank (Wakulla Co. Historical Society/ WakullaStory partner)
Rodney Letchworth (Discussing his essay that inspired this season’s ‘Wakulla Volcano’ play)
Gail Campbell (Wakulla Co. Youth Coalition/Wakulla’s Working Waterfronts project)
Agnes Furey (Activist/ Writer/ Her play, based on her book, Wildflowers in the Median, to be presented at SCENE in Wakulla Fest this coming June.)
WHERE: Wakulla Co. Public Library / 4330 Crawfordville Hwy (319)
WHEN: Friday, January 25 @ 7PM
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Palaver Tree Theater Co. was involved in a number of challenges this holiday season helping to make things a wee bit brighter for many in our community.
The same ANONYMOUS DONOR has now issued a challenge to us, except it’s a bit different than what we’ve tried thus far.
Visit our FB page and tell us ONE ACT OF KINDNESS that you had a hand in. That’s it!
For every single act of kindness posted the PALAVER TREE THEATER CO. Facebook page between NOW and NEW YEAR’S EVE (11:59pm), Palaver Tree will receive $1 (up to 500).
Hold the door open for someone…
Say “Good morning” to a friend or stranger…
Give up a parking space…
Refrain from laughing at your diehard pal who shuffles silently back into the fold because the world didn’t end on Dec. 21st…
Let another go ahead of you in traffic…
Cuddle the pet you’ve neglected all month while shopping…
Pay for a stranger’s lunch..
Take in the neighbor’s garbage can…
Leave an extra-large tip…
Dispose of someone else’s litter properly…
Breathe deep and hold back when you wanna knock that boss upside the head at work…
AND TELL US!
The list is truly endless.
The ONE TRIBE EQUALS ONE DOLLAR CHALLENGE is totally based on honesty, and you can list more than one random act kindness that you performed, and you don’t have to live in our area.
Let’s make this happen, we’ve got magic to do!
Palaver Tree Theater Co.
IT’S TIME FOR SOME COMFORT FOOD !!!
CLAWING your way out of the voting booth?
GLOATING over your victory?
Cultivating REVENGE after your loss?
As the velvet curtain drops on the latest multi-million (billion) dollar theatre production, another curtain rises off-off-off – WAY OFF! – Broadway.
Support what the candidates have called the ‘Small Business Owner’. Or, what theatre-folk call, “That greedy understudy, back there, somewhere, in the wings!”
WED. NOVEMBER 7th
Beef O’Brady’s (Crawfordville)
4pm – 8pm
Palaver Tree’s EDIBLE THEATER
Buy any item on the menu and Palaver Tree Theater receives 10% of the proceeds for its upcoming productions.
… Come plot with us !
AUDITIONS for upcoming Palaver Tree Theater, Co. performances will be held:
Saturday OCTOBER 20TH from 12-3pm
Sunday OCTOBER 21ST from 2-5pm
WAKULLA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY /
4330 Crawfordville Highway (Highway 319)
Please prepare a monologue. Both dramatic and comedic are acceptable.
For more info contact: email@example.com
February: LEFT HAND SINGING
FATHER: 40’s and up, White male
SON: 18-early 20’s, White male
MOTHER- 40’s and up, Black female
MOTHER -40’s and up, White female
WIFE – 40’s and up, White female
Daughter – 18-early 20’s Black female
Daughter – 18-early 20’s White female
April: The Wakulla Volcano
1 MEN 50’S, White male
2 MEN 40-50, White males
3 MEN will play multiple characters
3 Women – will play multiple characters
Needed: WRITERS / DIRECTORS / READERS
SCENE in WAKULLA – June 2013
A New Plays / New Films Festival
The SCENE in WAKULLA New Play / New Film Fest offers a look at the work of local artists – and surrounding counties – whose talents are ‘emerging’ or ‘underground’, and presenting these new voices in an out-of-town, southern comfort type way.
WRITERS looking to have a public reading of a new play or work in progress;
ACTORS to perform the reading of the plays;
DIRECTORS to direct the cast and work with the writer to execute the readings;
FILMMAKERS with a new film or work in progress that they wish to screen for the public to gain feedback, audience response, etc.
Events will take place throughout Wakulla County
GOAL: To bring artists together in the hopes of creating working partnerships that lead to further development – and work – for artists.
ENTRY FEE of play and film submissions: $10 non-refundable will be used for script printing and advertisement.
Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2013
Submissions and Entry Fee can be mailed to:
Palaver Tree- SCENE
Crawfordville, Florida 32327
Make checks payable to: Palaver Tree Theater Co.