In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the statehood of West Virginia, Greenbrier Valley Theatre is partnering with Carnegie Hall and the Greenbrier Historical Society for a number of historical events for the week of the June 20 anniversary date.
On June 16, GVT will present a free program, “Special Moments with Greenbrier Seniors,” at 2 p.m. Area seniors who are members of the creative writing class of the Shepherd’s Center of Greenbrier County will read portions of the memoirs they have been writing as part of the class. It will be a time of sharing and reflection on the history of the area as well as the individual lives of the class members.
On June 17 at 7:30 p.m., GVT will present a readers theater production of “Faded Memories” written by Ben Crookshanks. The work is based on Civil War-era stories collected by Crookshanks and performed by professional actors. The author himself will participate in this free program.
On June 18, at noon, Carnegie Hall will present “100 Years at The Greenbrier” as part of its Brown Bag Tuesday series. The free talk will feature Bob Conte, historian of The Greenbrier, who will speak about the long and colorful history of “America’s Resort.”
At 7:30 p.m. at GVT, authors Glenn Taylor and Dave Corbin will present “150 Years of Stereotypes: Exploring West Virginians in Literature and History.” In this free lecture, Taylor will discuss portrayals of the people of the Mountain State as depicted in popular culture, as well as in his 2009 novel, “The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart.”
Corbin will also introduce his new biography of Sen. Robert C. Byrd. This event is being co-produced with the Greenbrier Historical Society and is free to the public.
On June 19 at 7:30 p.m., Greenbrier Valley Theatre will have a special Wednesday performance of its historical musical “The Greenbrier Ghost,” in honor of the June 20 sesquicentennial anniversary. Tickets are $24 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $15 for students and children.
Several special events are planned for the June 20 anniversary date itself.
At noon, there will be a West Virginia birthday celebration on the lawn of Carnegie Hall WV, featuring free birthday cake and live music. Then at 7 p.m. Carnegie will hold a traditional square dance. There is a $5 admission for the square dance.
At 7:30 p.m., Greenbrier Valley Theatre continues the historic celebration with its 1863 drama “The Greenbrier Martyr.” Tickets are $24 for adults, $21 for seniors, and $15 for students and children.
June 21, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra featuring actor West Virginia native, David Selby, will play a concert of patriotic music and local favorites at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds at 8 p.m. The grounds will open at 6:00 p.m. and all are encouraged to bring a picnic and get a good seat.
The free concert will conclude with a large fireworks show.
On June 22, GVT will present another performance of “The Greenbrier Martyr” in a 2 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. evening performance.
For the entire anniversary week, the North House Museum will feature a Civil War history display. The Greenbrier Historical Society, based at the North House Museum, has also assembled lobby displays for GVT for both “The Greenbrier Ghost” and “The Greenbrier Martyr,” detailing the historical significance of each of those dramatic works.