New theatrical production about local seniors

Contributed To The Press • Nov 10, 2017 at 1:31 PM

With a post-Veterans day nod, and a perhaps not unintended allusion to Tim O’Brien’s book, “The Things They Carried,” the production “Not All That I Carry” will be performed at the Jonesborough Senior Center on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, and can be purchased through the Jonesborough Senior Center at 423-753-4781 or through the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423-753-1010.

Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended.

Early in 2017, members from the Jonesborough Senior Center shared stories from their lives as part of the new Jonesborough Story Initiative.

A World War II veteran by the name or Vern Dauerty, who was a medic during the Battle of the Bulge, told playwright Jules Corriere after the interview, “This is the story I wanted to tell, but it’s not all that I carry.” Corriere immediately knew this would be the title of the production, because it spoke for so many of the seniors who were interviewed.

“Not All That I Carry” is a production filled with the real-life harrowing, heartfelt and humorous stories that were told during the interview process, set to original music composed for the play, which will be performed by members of the Jonesborough Senior Center, as well as area youth.

Some of the stories include the romance between an American G.I. and a beautiful Irish girl who meet under difficult circumstances in London; a young couple who eloped when FDR was president, and are still married today; a soldier who served with Elvis Presley in Germany; women who kept their homes and family together during the Great Depression; and young men who served with the Civilian Conservation Corps. These and more are the stories of the “Greatest Generation” featured in the play.

Before and after the production, there will be a photo exhibit of all the storytellers featured in the play, including current portraits as well as photos from their past. In addition, there is a companion magazine with stories from every member who participated in the story collecting, along with photographs. The magazine will be available for purchase.

This project began when the Senior Center received two grants in 2017: one, through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, which assisted with the purchasing of new sound equipment; and one through the Tennessee Arts Commission, which provided technical support for the project.

For more information, call 423-753-4781 or visit www.jonesborough.com.

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