July 19, 2009

60th season of Unto These Hills

A hunger for history

Cherokee Historical Association increases attendance despite lean economic times

By Rob Capriccioso
The association’s mission–to perpetuate the history and culture of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians–is accomplished through two main avenues: The production of the outdoor drama, “Unto These Hills,” a historical retelling at the association’s impressive Mountainside Theatre; and the exhibition of the Oconaluftee Indian Village, a replica of a 1750s Cherokee Indian village.

The drama, which is in its 60th season, is billed as “the family show too large for any screen.” Through acting and dance, the show portrays the unique story of the Cherokee from a historical perspective through contemporary times.

The play has been reworked from its early roots to better trace the history and culture of the Cherokee people, according to Linda W. Squirrel, the playwright and association affiliate who helps guide the production.

“The story takes visitors from first contact with the Europeans through the Trail of Tears and up to the present. It was important for us to make this historically accurate. The Cherokee history is just so rich.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

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