Speak Story Series

2019 Michael & Carrie Kline

2019 Appalachian Heritage Storytellers-In-Residence
michael and carrie kline

Michael and Carrie Kline Image 3.jpg

Read responses from our production of ‘Revelations’

From a community audience member:
”It was something I will carry with me for a long time. You all so clearly had your hearts in the words, which were profound. Yet another Shepherdstown gift!”
From a cast member:
”I was a cast member for the reading of  ‘Revelations.’  I was profoundly affected by the experience - the power and depth of the voices, the resilience, courage and humor of those who were interviewed, the need to pay attention.  The cast members started as a disparate group reading as a favor to someone, and evolved into a kind of family as we became part of the fabric of the narrative.  When Marilyn came forward to acknowledge and validate her experiences and ours, and the meaningfulness of Carrie's play, I think everyone present was moved.  Thank you, Adam, for bringing Carrie and Michael to Shepherdstown.  Thank you, Carrie, for having the foresight to do this work.”

This was the schedule for our 2019 Residency:
Sunday April 7

2:00 - 5:00 Workshop $20
Listening for a Change: Gathering Local Memory and Wisdom
To register,
use our contact form here.
Get beyond the printed pages of written history into the thickets of local memory and knowledge. This course offers techniques for recording the voices and testimonials of those not usually included in the public record. Learn about the kinds of customs rarely found in books, from the lips of Allegheny elders whose youth was shaped by everyday conventions unheard of today. Practice techniques for garnering the stories of ordinary people as conveyors of community values and individual creative expression. Participants will learn how to "birth" a story, gaining an appreciation for deep history and spoken arts, useful in our primary research and writing.

Sunday April 7

7:00 Auditions for Revelations (see April 12 below)
Cumberland Room of the Shepherd University Student Center
Those interested in auditioning need no special preparations. Please familiarize yourself with the description and characters below.
Please note: the rehearsal schedule for this event is Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5:00 - 7:30.

Tuesday April 9

7:30 Speak Tuesday Night Concert in Reynolds Hall
Granny Get Your Stick and Come and Walk with Me: Old Time Songs and the Stories They Tell

Friday April 12

7:30 Revelations
Byrd Center for History and Education
 is a theatrical presentation about Appalachian resiliency in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. In Revelations, Carrie interweaves oral testimonials of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered West Virginians. Carrie explains, “This 13-person reader’s theatre performance illuminates these West Virginians’ determination to express themselves in a way that is worthy of respect and admiration. Revealing their paths toward self-acceptance, audience members will glean a fresh perspective on concepts of gender from people who have broadened their own views through complex intellectual and spiritual journeys.”

Revelations is a live theatrical presentation written and produced by folklorist Carrie Nobel Kline, who weaves a dozen oral histories into an artistic tapestry that focuses on resiliency in the LGBT Appalachian community. 

Kline, owner of Talking Across the Lines, LLC, a folklife documentation and audio production company, “saw common threads in people's stories. Most talked about being raised to be stubborn and independent as well as deeply religious and attached to the land… The characters, whose names have been changed, talk to each other and the audience.”

Characters share memories of discovering they were different, dealing with family and community, and eventually accepting themselves.
Revelations Characters
Male Roles:
Rob—a gay college professor 
John—a transgender (male to female, no surgery) sound engineer and musician
Jimmy—a gay high school junior
Barry—a retired school teacher
George—a gay former drag queen grad student
Elton—a gay grad student
Howard—gay psychotherapist/psychologist

Female Roles:
Sandy—a lesbian grandmother and small town business owner
Jennifer—a transgender male to female factory worker
Corky—a transgender male to female sociology grad student 
Jo Ann—a bisexual nursing student
Casey—a bisexual female college student, formerly in the military service