Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

VMI Community Theatre Presents 'Heart of the West'

FullTextImage/img/@altThe VMI Community Theatre production "Heart of the West" opens tonight. – VMI Photo by Kelly Nye.

LEXINGTON, Va., June 19, 2014 – The VMI Community Theatre will present “Heart of the West,” a show featuring timeless tales of the old American West, as seen through the works of Mark Twain, O. Henry, Stephen Crane, Eugene Field, and other American authors. Traditional toe-tapping western and folksongs will also help to tell the story of the settlers, miners, cowboys, newspaper men, and other adventurers who headed west in the 19th century.

Performances are scheduled for today through Saturday, June 19-21 and 26-28, at 7:30 p.m. in Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall.

With two modern storytellers recalling the lives of their great-grandparents through a treasured book of memories, “Heart of the West” will offer a variety of characters and situations both humorous and historic. Daniel Boone looks back on his life and wishes he could live longer to explore the West. A mosquito-bitten Illinois farm woman seeks refuge on the prairies, and a brave sod-shanty dweller hangs on to his newfound freedom. Two snowbound miners discover something more than gold in the Montana hills, and east- and westbound trains carry travelers to known and unknown destinations. Comical journalists poke fun at life through western newspapers, and an African-American mountain man tells of life among the Indians and fur-traders.

Love, hope, and humor add to the story in such tunes as “Cumberland Gap,” “Careless Love,” “Clementine,” “Wabash Cannonball,” and “Buffalo Gals.” The entire family will enjoy this look back at the old American West.

The cast of actors and musicians includes Jim Armstead, Joellen Bland, Maj. Michael Brickler, Helen Cox, Michele Cunningham, Becky and Dave Edmondson, Sarah Hoover ’14, Don Kludy, Tom Oxendine, Donna Pagnam, Shay and Phil Peters, Capt. Ned Riester, and Jonathan Schwab.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free for cadets and children age 6 and under. Payment is accepted in cash or check only. Reservations are not required.

For additional information, call 540-464-7389 or send e-mail to