Pre­miere of ‘Brain­erd Mis­sion Story’ is Fri­day

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - ARTS - STAFF RE­PORT

An ori gi nal drama de­pict­ing the peo­ple and events that would shape Chat­tanooga will de­but Fri­day, Nov. 10, at Brain­erd High School, with more pre­sen­ta­tions Satur­day and Sun­day, Nov. 11-12.

Brain­erd Mis­sion Pro­ject and Rip­ple Pro­duc­tions are co- host­ing the pre­miere of “The Trail was a Cir­cle: The Brain­erd Mis­sion Story.” The pro­duc­tion cel­e­brates the 200th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the Brain­erd Mis­sion, us­ing mu­sic, f ilm and drama to al­low au­di­ences to go back in time to early 1800s Chat­tanooga.

It tells the story of a small group of teach­ers at a Chero­kee mis­sion school who stood for hu­man dig­nity and civil rights against the pend­ing In­dian Re­moval Act.

Based on his­tor­i­cal re­search, the jour­nals of mis­sion­ar­ies and sup­port from lo­cal his­to­ri­ans Bruce Sloan, David Clapp and Chero­kee lead­ers, in­clud­ing Tam­mera Hicks and Elk­spirit Dancer, the play will in­tro­duce Chat­tanoogans to the char­ac­ters who shaped the com­mu­nity.

From Chief John Ross, Se­quoyah and Nancy Ward to An­drew Jackson, Davy Crock­ett and Sa­muel Worch­ester, this play will en­gage and ed­u­cate, in­spir­ing au­di­ences to join in the bi­cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion of the Brain­erd Mis­sion and its role in Chat­tanooga his­tory.

Stu­dents from Barger Academy and Brain­erd High School — youth liv­ing cen­turies later in the neigh­bor­hood of the for­mer mis­sion — are part of the mu­si­cal ac­com­pa­ni­ment of the play . Its orig­i­nal score is by Dr. Jim Burns, re­tired mu­sic pro­fes­sor and for­mer di­rec­tor of the Lee Singers at Lee Uni­ver­sity in Cleve­land. The score is an eclec­tic mix of mu­sic rep­re­sent­ing the three cul­tures re­flected in the mis­sion’s life.

The play was writ­ten by Daisy Pratt and is pro­duced in part­ner­ship with the Chero­kee Area Coun­cil of Boy Scouts of Amer­ica, WTCI- PBS, Na­tive Amer­i­can Ser­vices of Ten­nessee, Ridgeview Bap­tist Church, DAR Re­gent’s Coun­cil of Chat­tanooga, Nancy Ward chap­ter of Daugh­ters of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion, Sons of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion John Se­vier So­ci­ety, Audu- bon Acres, JD Burns Co., Baron Stu­dios, Live to In­spire Pro­duc­tions and the Chat­tanooga The­atre Cen­tre.

For more in­for­ma­tion or tick­ets: www.brain­erd­mis­sion­pro­ject.com.

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