Main Street Players aims to tell Griffin’s stories

Norma Richardson, director of Main Street Players, wants help in telling Griffin’s story. She says for years, she has thought about producing a folk-life performance piece that weaves the stories of individuals’ lives into a performance piece about Griffin.

“We’ve all got lots of stories,” Richardson said. “I’m inclined to take it to a heritage piece; we’ve got a rich history here in Griffin, with roots in the mills and I’m sure there are young people here that don’t know what a loom or a mill is!”

The industry for which Griffin is known inspired the working title of the piece, which is “Mill Town.”

Richardson specifically mentioned interest in older generations’ stories about the mills or Griffin that have been passed down generation to generation, but she is also interested tales of the small details of life, such as a special Christmas memories, local ghost stories, a life changing event, or simply what it was like growing up in Griffin.

One-on-one interviews and story circles will be set up to facilitate storyline development.  Story circles are roundtable groups with multiple participants in which general topics are thrown out for everyone to share their personal story that relates to that topic.

After story circles are complete, writers will condense, tweak or combine the stories into a performance piece.   “This will be an ongoing project and theatre piece that will change every year,” Richardson said.  It’s not a single story.  It will be woven together in a performance piece, but it’s not a single story.”

Richardson has watched the small town of Colquitt, Georgia, bring its community together with the development of “Swamp Gravy.” Swamp Gravy began in 1992 when the founders decided to revive a dying town by collecting and performing the stories of the inhabitants.

Swamp Gravy is now considered “Georgia’s Official Folk-Life Theatre,” sells out every show, and performs all over the United States and South America.

Richardson says of Colquitt and Swamp Gravy, “It’s a great model.  But every community has its own stories and its own vision.”

“We’re driven by other peoples’ stories,” Richardson said.  A story connects people and empowers communities.”

  

Anyone who would like to share his or her story should call Main Street Players at 770-229-or email Richardson at norma.richardson41@gmail.com.  For more information about Swamp Gravy, visit http://www.swampgravy.com.  

 

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