(SAUTEE NACOOCHEE)–The Friends of Hardman Farm State Historic site, in partnership with Piedmont University’s North Georgia Theatre, will present “Valley Voices,” an outdoor drama June 1-3 and 8-10, 2023, at Hardman Farm, 143 Highway 17, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia.
Written by the multi-talented North Georgia storyteller, local author, and playwright Emory Jones, “Valley Voices” tells the stories of those who lived, worked, and loved in Nacoochee Valley through the centuries. This realistic and historically accurate play features authentic costumes, live horses, and even an antique car.
“Several of us locals, along with Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials, have wanted to see an outdoor drama come to North Georgia for years,” Jones says. “That finally happened when ‘Valley Voices’ made its premiere in June of 2022 to sellout audiences. Hopefully, this revised and enhanced outdoor drama will continue to grow and become an annual event at Hardman Farm.”
Hardman Farm Assistant Manager Sarah Summers notes that having Piedmont University’s Theater Department Chair Kathy Blandin direct the play and Piedmont theater professor Bill Gabelhausen be the acting coach and play the role of Calvin Hunnicutt will make this performance special. “Kathy and Bill have assembled an amazing cast of talented actors and musicians to play the various roles,” says Summers, who teasingly adds, “Folks attending may be surprised to find out which former Georgia Governor is playing the role of former governor, Dr. Lamartine Hardman. Seriously. It’s a big Deal.
Tom Johnson, the play’s producer, says he’s pleased with the amount of community backing he’s seen for “Valley Voices.” “We have had tremendous support, financial and otherwise, from the White County Board of Commissioners, Springer Mountain Farms, The White County Historical Society, The Helen Convention and Visitors Bureau, the White County Chamber of Commerce, William M. House, Esquire, the Dean Swanson family and many other local businesses and individuals.”
The event will host a trifecta of performances beginning with live music from Joe and Debbie Lee Whelchel at 5:30 p.m. and continuing with a musical performance by singer Katie Deal. The “Valley Voices” presentation kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Hardman Farm Historic Site, located at 143 Highway 17, Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia 30571.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and visitors are encouraged to come early and bring their own lawn chair or blanket for the outdoor performance. They can purchase food from Mutt and Jeff’s BBQ Smokehouse and a brew from Tantrum Brewing Co., and have a picnic on the grounds. The site’s numerous outbuildings, including the impressive 100-plus-year-old dairy barn, will be open and guests can interact with the actors prior to their performance.
Tickets are $25 plus taxes and fees. Chidren 5 and under, free. To learn more, visit: www.valleyvoicesplay.com. All proceeds go towards future events and restoration projects at the historic Hardman Farm.