The Ballad of Cass lit up the streets of Cass over the weekend with three shows.
During the outdoor promenade through the town , the cast led the audience to significant locations where they could view vignettes featuring characters from the town’s history who shared their stories. Together they described a slice of every day life in an early 1900 logging town.
“Cass, a place that was not tamed by luck or magic, but on the shoulders of the resilient and hardworking adventurers who understood not what Cass was, but what Cass could be.” ~ Sarah, narrator and guide
Beginning at the depot, then on to the Company Store, the town jail and the community center, the action revealed a motley cast of characters including woodhicks, young men who longed for the woods, drunks, a woman of the night, a sweet married couple who run the hotel and build the sawmill, the town constable, the school teacher, the town gossip and many more.
These real people were immortalized in the novels by Tweard Blackhurst, and the original play was written by Nicolette Maleckar, a former Cass resident.
Missy McCollam, of the Old Brick Playhouse in Elkins, adapted the original and directed this rollicking, fast-paced production.
Sunday’s show was quickly revamped by the talented and flexible cast to be presented inside the Cass Community Center because of the impending thunderstorm. Chuckles, sheer laughter and poignant silences revealed the connection the cast developed with the audience. After each show, the audience enjoyed the old-fashioned lemonade social having been thoroughly entertained and enlightened with a little more of the rich history of Cass.
Director Missy McCollam was also a member of the cast, along with Phil Smith, Taylor McKinnie, Dustin VanDevender, Jacob Currence, Daria Panova, Zenna Jones, Maxie McCollam and Matt Weintraub of the Old Brick Playhouse. Local talent was represented by Cynthia Gurreri, Nikki Alikakos, Zoe Guamis and Vega Guamis.
Three performances are scheduled for next weekend: Saturday at 2 and 6 p.m., and the final curtain falls after the 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at celebratepocahontas200. com/product/the-ballad-of-cass-tickets/