An original Civil War short play, written by an Ozarks Technical Community College instructor, will debut tonight as part of First Friday Artwalk.
The work, entitled “Beloved Exile,” was written by Jon Herbert, theater arts instructor at OTC, and is based on the memoir of Louisa Cheairs McKenney Sheppard, one the founders of Springfield.
Students will present the staged reading at 7:30 and 8:30 tonight on the third floor of the Gillioz Theater where the OTC Fine Arts Department is located.
The reading is part of this month’s faculty showcase for First Friday Artwalk. Other faculty presentations will include art displays by six instructors and a live musical performance by two other instructors.
In Herbert’s play, a Confederate woman, Lucy, has sons fighting in Arkansas not long after the Battle of Springfield. The Union has control of Springfield. Her sons and their compatriots are sick, and she wants to go to them, but cannot get passage.
“She eventually convinces a Union officer and long-time friend, C.B. Holland into writing her papers of exile. The memoir says that she saw this as an act of kindness, but that he was much chagrinned by it,” Herbert said.
Herbert wrote the play in conjunction with his playwriting class, in which students were assigned to write plays about the Civil War based on research culled from a local Ozarks Civil War Web site.
“Since finishing the play, Herbert has been asked to perform it tonight and also at a fundraiser next week for the Wilson Creek Foundation. It may be performed again next year at the Battle of Wilson Creek’s 150th anniversary celebration
“I didn’t know there was going to have all this demand for it,” Herbert said.
Sheppard’s memoir, “A Confederate Girlhood,” can be read on the Springfield-Greene County Library’s digital collection: “Community and Conflict: the Impact of the Civil War on the Ozarks” at www.ozarkscivilwar.org.
Steve Koehler is coordinator of publications at Ozarks Technical Community College. Contact him at email@example.com.
College Director of Communications
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Phone: (417) 447-2666