Through a 2012-2014 community cultural development residency, a reenactment drama was created with Appalachian folk artists and local performers, and premiered at Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield, Virginia. A group of Eastern Cherokee tradition-keepers are primary collaborators, and co-producers are the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association, a nonprofit volunteer organization in Tennessee and Virginia, and Natural Tunnel State Park of Duffield, Virginia.
The project builds on storytelling and music workshops conducted by Roadside Theater at the Tunnel Park, as well as an historical reenactment of a local pre-Revolutionary War kidnapping story now performed annually by local residents at a reconstructed Block House (1700’s small house/fort) located in a wooded area of the Park.
The work is part of Roadside’s ongoing exploration of new forms of American theater that aim for the highest artistic quality, welcome an entire community, and help communities to develop their own futures. The play was performed at Natural Tunnel Park, not on a stage, but outdoors in a setting that incorporates the landscape and re-created structures of the stories being told – for example, the settler’s village and a Cherokee settlement. The residency, the play, and other related culturally-based tourism activities are part of a regional community rebuilding strategy.