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Tickets on sale for spring encore of Pickens Courthouse drama

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

CARROLLTON, Ala. -- Back by popular demand, and thanks to a cooperative effort between First National Bank of Central Alabama, The Pickens County Courthouse Preservation Foundation and the Pickens County Tourism Association, the theatrical production of "The Face In The Courthouse Window" returns for an encore performance April 14-17, 2011, in Carrollton. Tickets are on sale now and are expected to go quickly. 

 

"The Face in the Courthouse Window" portrays the dramatic story of Henry Wells and the 1876 burning of the Pickens County Courthouse. The idea for the play originated with Leon Manning, marketing director of First National Bank of Central Alabama. Captivated by the local legend, Manning''s enthusiasm inspired others who shared his vision, including the Pickens County Courthouse Preservation Foundation and Pickens County Tourism. 

 

The original script is by playwright Barry Bradford, winner of the 2005 and 2009 Southern Playwrights competition. 

 

In its debut earlier this year, the presentation raised more than $13,000 for the restoration and preservation of the historic landmark courthouse.  

 

"We were thrilled with the four sold-out performances in 2010, and we''ve added more shows in 2011 to accommodate the strong demand," said Manning.  

 

The courthouse is an intimate setting, with the audience in close proximity to the actors. 

 

New this year, are special matinee performances that have been added for students. "Talkback" sessions, in which the audience can ask questions of the actors and technical staff, are also being planned. 

 

 

 

New director 

 

Jeff Wilson has been named as the new director to lead the production, which will once again take place in the courthouse. Drew Baker will assume director''s duties for the new student-led matinees. 

 

Wilson, former chef and owner of The Globe Restaurant in Northport, Ala., has worked in theater for more than 15 years. Recent projects include "Driving Miss Daisy," at Theatre Tuscaloosa, and, this month, the classic "It''s A Wonderful Life" radio show.  

 

Wilson said, "I grew up in this area, and I have heard the story ... nearly all my life. At least once a month, my family drove by the courthouse, and we looked at the ''Face In The Window.'' The coolest thing about the play is that it takes place in the actual building where the story happened."  

 

Baker, artistic coordinator for Tuscaloosa''s Children''s Theatre, shares Wilson''s enthusiasm about being able to reenact the story in the very location it actually took place. For years, Baker has visited area schools and presented the ghostly tale to local students in Pickens County and the Tuscaloosa area. 

 

 

 

How to go 

 

Tickets are $25, on sale now at www.courthousewindow.com or any branch of First National Bank of Central Alabama. With limited seating and strong demand expected, Manning suggests purchasing tickets early. The casting call is set for January 2011.

 

 

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