The Settle family is back once again. The fictional mountain family created by local playwrights Bob Slaven and Shirley Workman will be featured in “Shenandoah ‘The Legend and the Legacy’.” The play, a murder mystery dinner theater production, will be held at Graves Mountain Lodge, June 17.
BS Productions’ play chronicles the struggles of the mountain folk in the 1930’s with the changes to their society and the eventual government takeover of their land to form the Shenandoah National Park.
Slaven is very enthusiastic about the production.
“We’ve been practicing for a few weeks and we have all gotten back into character,” he said. “We are all excited about performing this up at Graves Mountain Lodge.”
For Workman, the story of the Settles is personal.
“My family, the Schiffletts from Greene County came from the mountains,” she said. “I remember my grandmother’s stories about life in the mountains. So much of the Settle’s story is really my family’s story too. So much of our heritage is connected to the land that is now the Shenandoah National Park. Our ancestors are buried there. We are who we are today because of what happened back then. There is still some bitterness to this day about what happened and how the land was taken from us. Both Madison and Greene counties have this treasure of a park here, but we can’t forget the sacrifice of all the mountain people. There is still distrust of the government here partially because of how they took over the land to make the park.”
Max Lacy, president of the Madison County Historical Society and an actor in the play said that “Shenandoah ‘The Legend and the Legacy’ gives modern day Madison residents a glimpse of what some of the issues of the day were.
“It’s important that we tell this story,” he said. “This is a big part of Madison’s history. So many people lost their land with the creation of the Shenandoah National Park. The Blue Ridge Mountain Memorial honors those people displaced by the park. It is fitting that the proceeds from the play are going towards the upkeep of the monument. This play tells the story of the families that were moved out by the park.”
All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Madison County Historical Society’s Memorial Fund. The Madison Memorial Fund has been established to support and maintain the Blue Ridge Mountain Memorial. The memorial, at the old Creiglersville school, honors the Madison County residents that were displaced by the formation of the Shenandoah National Park.
The Madison County Historical Society is a non-profit dedicated to preserving and protecting the heritage and traditions of Madison County. The society serves the public by recording and preserving history as well as educating about it.
Tickets for the 6 p.m. June 17 play are $45 and include a dinner of fried chicken, pork BBQ, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and applesauce.
Seating is limited and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There will not be tickets sold at the door.
For more information or to purchase tickets contact Shirley Workman at (540) 718-6884 or Max Lacy at (540) 718-8889.