As part of a Civil War Heritage Weekend, the city of Marietta is hosting Franklin’s own Overlook Theatre Company in a production of “The Civil War Musical” on June 20 and 21, at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre.
“We are thrilled to be invited by the Strand Theatre on the Square in downtown Marietta,” said show director, Scotty Corbin. “Plans began this past fall when organizers of the event contacted me asking if I knew of a theatrical presentation that could accompany the city’s celebration. Having performed ‘The Civil War Musical’ several years ago, I knew the songs and stories would be a perfect fit with the planned event, so Overlook’s creative team went to work creating an entirely new production specific to Marietta.”
Drawing from letters, diaries and firsthand accounts, and the words of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Walt Whitman, “The Civil War Musical” is a “thrilling, gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring dramatic theatrical concert that covers the enormous emotional landscape of the most difficult time out nation has ever endured,” according to Corbin.
“I love the music in this production,” said Kathi Graham, who sings in the production. “I love how the lyrics and melodies are able to give such a depth of emotion to the stories, situations and experience that people were going through during that time in history.”
That experience of the Civil War is what the City of Marietta is hoping to provide to its visitors. Including real descriptions provided by descendants and letters written by soldiers and civilians during the battles of Marietta, the entire weekend is dedicated to the memory of those that suffered through the years of the war. There will also be an authentic Civil War encampment in Glover Park, right across from the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, providing a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Confederate and Union soldiers.
“It’s that soldier’s experience that makes this show so powerful,” added Nikki Corbin, who also sings in the show. “Even though stories are from 150 years ago, the same emotions of leaving your family behind to go into the unknown is heartbreaking and can be seen on the faces of families sending their sons, brothers and husbands away to fight in battle.”
Steve Crabtree associates a personal aspect to his singing in the show.
“I think about what I would have done. I have three sons and I think about my reaction to seeing them leave home and if I would get to see them again. How would I say goodbye and when I did see them again, how would they have changed?”
Whether exploring the deep, emotional impact of battle or the sweeping historical events that helped to shape the country and cultures of the modern United States, the Civil War experience in Marietta highlighted by the “Civil War Musical” will enlighten, educate and touch the hearts of those in the audience. As an added bonus, the Overlook Theatre will be performing two shows of “The Civil War Musical” in Franklin as well on June 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Franklin High School Fine Arts Center. Advanced tickets for the Franklin performance will be available at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce or The Motor Company Grill on Main Street. For more information on the Marietta performances, go to www.earlsmithstrand.org or www.overlooktheatre.com.