JRT’s production of THE JACK TALES
, by R. Rex Stephenson competed at
the Tennessee Theatre Association statewide competition on Oct. 28th in Johnson
City. The cast was awarded “BEST ENSEMBLE” by the American Association of
Community Theatre. JRT was the only children’s theatre production in the
community theatre competition. We are very proud of our JACK PLAYERS!! If you
are interested in having THE JACK TALES
perform at your school or
special event, please call 423-791-4440.
Jack Tales have probably been made most popular by Folklorist Richard Chase
(1904–1988), who has been called the man "most responsible for the renaissance
of Appalachian storytelling." Chase was a collector of tales that have been
handed down from generation to generation in the Appalachian regions of the
"Many of us remember the stories of Jack from our childhood – told
before bed or by our school librarian," says JRT Artistic Director, Kathleen
Buttolph. "We may also remember coming to the Storytelling Festival in
Jonesborough and hearing of Jack’s adventures spun by storytellers such as
Jackie Torrence or Ray Hicks."
The Jack Tale players have been performing since 1975, when Rex
Stephenson, a professor at Ferrum College in Virginia, received a grant to take
traditional Jack Tales and put them in dramatic form for children. The first
Jack Tale player production was performed in an elementary school hallway. Since
that performance in 1975, Stephenson’s Jack Tales have been seen by more than
half a million people - 2,500 performances in thirty-four states and in England.
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Jack Tale Players include Isaac
Bates, Charity Bond, Cassandra Brooks, Mikki Churchwell, Alonna Donovan, Diane
Harmon, Hannah Hornsey, Logan Lockner, Jeffrey Oaks, Rachel Ponder, and Lexi
Turner. These talented young people have been working on five of the most well
known tales. Tales include Jack Fear No Man, Wicked John and the Devil, Jack and
the Robbers, Jack and the Witch’s Tale, and Jack and Ol’ Greasy Beard. Holley
Housewright is the production’s lighting director.
The students play a wide range of character roles - Giants, a King,
a Witch, Jack’s poor Ma and Pa, his brother’s Bill and Tom, the meanest man that
ever was - Wicked John, and many more……like Saint Peter! "Each student in the
production has three to five characters to play," says Buttolph. "It’s a
challenge that everyone has embraced."
This JRT production is fun for people of all ages and from all
regions. It is high energy, full of action and non-stop humorous fumbles and