Then came the phone calls--not just from folks who couldn't make it the first time, but seven historical societies who wanted the show to come to them. The result: a spring restaging--and a tour--for this staged adaptation of vivid stories, testimony from the mouths of those who worked the textile mills and populated the milltowns of central North Carolina during the early-to-middle 20th century.
After this weekend, Brand's company will perform the show in two other historic mills--in Gastonia, Apr. 25 and Charlotte, May 2--and a Hillsborough barn on May 6.
"Years ago I lived in Bynum," Brand recalls, "and I became very interested in the stories from the former millworkers I became friends with there. My grandparents had lived in a coal mining village that was also owned by the company, so when I moved to Bynum, it felt very familiar to me. I recognized there were similar narratives, a similar sense of community. I was drawn to their stories."
The stories--oral histories, compiled in the book Like a Family--are juxtaposed in this show with folk and gospel music from the period, and the songs of Dorsey Dixon, a North Carolina songwriter who also worked in the mills.
Join the crowds, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.