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The Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe was formed to provide a forum for a variety of theatrical performances reflecting the creative spirit of our community. The goal is to produce plays that will include those from legitimate theater, historic depictions of Saluda's rich history, and literary and poetic readings; all demonstrating local artistry and talent. The Saluda Historic Depot will provide the setting for presentations suitable for its locale and will partner with other venues for settings suitable for each production.

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First Heritage Musical Premieres in Saluda in November

Saluda, the Musical

A Historical Depiction of Our Town

The Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe is producing Saluda’s first musical to be premiered on November 17, 2018.  The production will depict Saluda’s historical progression from the time the Cherokee Indians settled in the land of “green corn” until today.  The original play was written by Corinne Gerwe in collaboration with members of the newly-formed Young Acting Krew "YAK" of the Saluda Historic Depot Theatre Troupe, with a musical score written by Dan Foster to be performed by his band, the Radio Rangers.

When: November 17, 2018 at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm.

Where: The Party Place and Event Center, 221 Friendship Church Rd., Saluda, NC. 28773

Tickets: $10 for Adults and children 12 and above. Children free. Available at the door.

 YAK members rehearsing scene of the musical. From left to right: Zoey Potter, Adelaide Gardner, Arie Parmalee, Zeta Anderson (on floor), Ariana Wood, Melina Parmalee, Daniel Griffin, Hunter Potter

YAK members rehearsing scene of the musical. From left to right: Zoey Potter, Adelaide Gardner, Arie Parmalee, Zeta Anderson (on floor), Ariana Wood, Melina Parmalee, Daniel Griffin, Hunter Potter

Corinne Gerwe, who with Bill Jameson co-founded the theatre troupe, recalls attending a Saluda Historic Depot board meeting during a brain-storming session on how the Depot could contribute toward bringing back “Railroad Day” in Saluda.  Many remembered when Saluda celebrated this “ole timey” day when townspeople dressed in costume from the early-time era. "I began concentrating on developing this idea into a theatrical event focused on Saluda’s heritage and railroad history by including children of Saluda interested in the performing arts. The Young Acting Krew had just been formed, and it seemed the right time to do this. The kids were so excited about creating a heritage play, they have since thrust the idea to realization,” says Corinne.

Corinne is an author of several fiction and non-fiction novels, three of which are a series of murder mysteries set in a small town much like Saluda. Her latest mystery, “The Silent Scream of the Straw Man” has just been released. She has been a contributing board member and supporter of the Depot since its inception.

Dan Foster is a singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, Georgia. “Saluda Grade” was written by Dan after walking around Saluda before performing at the Purple Onion and noticed the historical marker describing the remarkable, legendary Saluda Grade. In 2009 it was featured on an album by High Cotton that spent several weeks on the Georgia top 20 Roots music charts. Dan rearranged the song for the play with his current group, The Radio Rangers, in addition to new songs featuring acoustic music with strong vocal harmonies.  Writing melodic songs that tell a good story is Dan’s passion.

“The history of Saluda is unique but shares a heritage with so many communities across our country.  The railroads were the backbone of our country’s growth and touched so many people and communities.  I believe the wisdom to move forward is provided by the struggles of our past.  I am honored to help in this small way to the celebration of Saluda history.  Saluda is a special place,” said Dan Foster.

 In addition to YAK and the adult Bell Tower Players, there are many others involved in this community-wide production.  “The town is excited about this musical and volunteers have jumped in to give their talents and time to costume designing, building stage sets and props, to be extras, do makeup, plan sound and lighting, and video/filming and for cameo appearances of the towns historians and legends,” says Corinne.

The production team and the Saluda Historic Depot board hope that everyone who is willing and able will attend this "One Night Only" performance.  Tickets will be $10 for everyone 12 years and older and purchased at the door.  Children under 12 will be free.  Special group arrangements can be made to purchase tickets by calling Corinne. They encourage everyone to put this on their calendars now because you won’t want to miss this one-time historical story of Saluda told in a musical format.

The performance will be held at the Party Place & Event Center and owners Bob and Linda Whitaker granted a special concession on the regular event price for the use of the facility.  The Party Place & Event Center is at 221 Friendship Church Rd., Saluda, NC. Performance will start at 7pm. Doors open at 6pm.

Sponsorships for the Playbill are available; $200 for major sponsor, $25 for all other sponsors. Your name will be printed on the Playbill and recognized as a sponsor of the musical.

The musical will benefit the Saluda Historic Depot, a non-profit dedicated to making the historic train station into a museum in order to highlight the history of the railroad, Saluda’s downtown, its people, and the history of its natural resources.   

If you would like to climb aboard and help preserve the historic Saluda Depot for future generations, you can send donations or pledges to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email savesaludadepot@gmail.com.  It is a 501(c)3 non-profit and all donations are tax deductible.  Donations and memberships to the Saluda Historic Depot in 2018 will enable us to receive incentive grant funds from the Polk County Community Foundation.

For more information, please contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or judyward@charter.net or Corinne Gerwe at cgerwe@rsnet.org or 828-749-4803.