DAVIDSON – Davidson College presents a celebration of North Carolina’s Appalachian heritage in the musical play “Providence Gap.”
Co-written by Preston Lane and Greensboro musician Laurelyn Dossett, “Providence Gap” premiered in 2010 at Greensboro’s Triad Stage and receives its second premiere at Davidson.
The play, directed by theater professor Ann Marie Costa, follows the story of Chance Presnell (played by Allen Rigby), an orphan who ventures from a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the trenches of World War I in search of his identity.
Dossett’s bluegrass, Appalachian-inspired music is interwoven throughout the action. She’ll accompany Davidson student musicians in each of the play’s performances.
“Preston and I purposefully try to write material that is of and for our region,” she explained. “One of the compelling components of our collaboration for ‘Providence Gap’ is our use of regionally flavored music, which employs regional musicians and authentic regional instrumentation.”
Dossett also pointed out that ‘Providence Gap’ infuses music into the production in an unusual way.
“Most of the music of the play is carried by the band, which is present on stage with the actors,” she said. “Sometimes the band underscores the play’s action and sometimes we are involved in the scene.”
Dossett also expressed excitement to work with talented Davidson musicians, including students Arielle Korman, Dylan Morris, Grey Gordon and chemistry professor Durwin Striplin.
Another of Dossett’s student collaborators includes actress Tatum Pottenger, who plays the mystical mountain woman, Cordie, who sets much of the play’s action into motion.
Pottenger, who has been involved in six other theater productions at Davidson, also noted the unique nature of “Providence Gap’s” music.
“The music is mostly in the hands of the band, but characters often carry the musical themes throughout the show and bring them to life on stage,” she said. “I’ve never interacted with musicians on stage in this way. It’s really innovative.”
Want to go? Davidson College’s theater department presents “Providence Gap” at 7:30 p.m. March 27, 8 p.m. March 28-29 and 2 p.m. March 30 in the Duke Family Performance Hall. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $12 seniors, $10 faculty/staff and $6 students. Buy them at www.davidson.edu/tickets or 704-894-2135.