Liberty Mountain News

Liberty Mountain ends its summer run

Liberty Mountain ends its summer run

With this weeks final performance taking place Sunday, July 19 at 3:00pm, “Liberty Mountain” ends its first summer production, and by any measure, it has been a huge success. Some thoughts about the summer run and a look at the future: Audiences for the 15 performances have been large and enthusiastic. Ticket sales show us that the appeal of “Liberty Mountain” goes well beyond the immediate area of Cleveland and Gaston counties. Typical is the family that traveled from Raleigh to see a performance after hearing about it through a Sons of the American Revolution chapter. As the word continues to spread in the months ahead, the play will draw an ever wider regional and national audience. The production has been superb, with a cast and crew led by director Caleb Sigmon. Audience members who saw a performance during the premier run last October universally agree that the summer production has been bigger and better. The cast is a fine blend of talented local actors and our Core Artist program of college theatre students. We continue to learn from our experience, and the challenge will be to make next summer’s run even more special. The economic impact on this area is significant, and will become even more so in the future. Restaurants, motels and other businesses report increased sales during the 4-weekend production that we can attribute to the play’s draw. The experience of other similar dramas in our region – “Horn In The West,” “The Lost Colony” – prove that a production such as ours makes this area a destination for visitors and becomes a significant industry. The support... read more
Liberty Mountain ends with patriotic importance

Liberty Mountain ends with patriotic importance

“The Battle lasted for only an hour.  One bloody, savage hour that echoed through the colonies, across oceans, into time itself… an hour that changed everything.”  These are the words that open up each performance of “Liberty Mountain” the Revolutionary Drama by Robert Inman.  The fast-paced epic drama is promised to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Our hope is that seeing our play will be an hour that you will never forget. We are telling a story that America needs to hear.  We are in rough times of dispute and disagreement.  I believe that we all should take an hour to fully reflect on what our nation was founded upon, what these men and women fought for, what people have died for.  What it truly means to be free. With over one thousand audience members coming through the doors of the Joy Performance Center last weekend, the majority of them had travelled in from out-of-town.  Some folks drove in from Raleigh, Boone and Wilmington, others travelling from places as far as Massachusetts and Sacramento, California.  We hope that for our closing weekend, we will draw our biggest local crowd. One of our leading actresses, Mary Grace Keller, says, “Lots of people have told me they saw the show last year, and I tell them, no… you haven’t seen THIS show!”  We have received rave reviews about how the new additions to the drama for its 2015 season.  A historian from New England said after last Saturday’s matinee, “Bob Inman has done a superb job of weaving this story about people that have made a huge sacrifice... read more
Ferguson’s profound effects on history

Ferguson’s profound effects on history

Amazing, isn’t it, how what seems to be a minor action by one person can have profound effects on history.  That’s one of the central themes of “Liberty Mountain,” the Revolutionary War drama now in the third weekend of its summer production at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain.  It was a decision by British Major Patrick Ferguson that led directly to the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780 and turned the tide of the American struggle for independence. Ferguson is played superbly in our drama by actor Jeremy Homesley, who portrays the Major as a bold, decisive leader who nevertheless made two blunders that led to the defeat of his Loyalist militia and his own death on the mountain on an October day in 1780. Ferguson began his military career in his teens and earned a reputation as a resourceful and innovative officer.  He was considered the finest marksman in the British army, and invented a breech-loading rifle that could fire quickly and accurately.  Had the Army leadership adopted his rifle for widespread use, it could have had a significant impact on the Revolution.  But the Army stuck with the musket, which was inaccurate but cheap to manufacture.  That, too would have an impact at Kings Mountain. In 1780, the British commander in the southern colonies, Lord Cornwallis, selected Ferguson to recruit and train a regiment of Loyalist militia in the upstate area of South Carolina.  Cornwallis already held Charleston and had established strong outposts in the state.  His plan was to capture Charlotte, march north through North Carolina and Virginia, attack and defeat the Continental Army,... read more
Liberty Mountain Opens with a BOOM!

Liberty Mountain Opens with a BOOM!

Over 700 audience members chose to end our production with a standing ovation, whistling and cheering at the end of Opening Weekend. The climactic and emotional finale, new to the 2015 production, will have you standing on your feet. One audience member said, “With my heart in my throat and tears in my eyes, it reminded me how proud I am to be an American.” Robert Inman’s epic battle drama “Liberty Mountain” has triumphantly returned to Kings Mountain, better and bigger than before. On Opening Night, Mayor Rick Murphrey stood in front of a full-house at the Joy Performance Center and declared June 26th “Liberty Mountain Day!” This exciting news was just the beginning of an incredibly memorable kickoff weekend. At the Opening Night Gala, I had the opportunity to speak with a great number of theatregoers and supporters of the show. Returning audience members loved the new changes and additions in this summer’s production. People that didn’t see last year’s World Premiere were floored by the professional quality of the performances. Audiences for this season are in for a special treat. The artistic and onstage team of over 30 actors and designers are thrilled to have started performances. “It’s exciting… like Christmas!” Says Pete DeGregory, who plays a leading role in the production. “I think of it as a little child that sees the tree being put up, and slowly, presents underneath it. We stay at that level of anticipation. Then, when the audience finally arrives, it’s Christmas morning. We get to open our presents!” Roy Lightfoot, another actor in the show, chimed in. “We get 15 Christmas... read more
The Hambright’s Valor and Family Legacy

The Hambright’s Valor and Family Legacy

For many in our audiences at “Liberty Mountain,” the Revolutionary War drama now in performance at King’s Mountain’s Joy Performance Center, it’s a very personal experience. Many tell me that they are descended from the families who settled the Carolinas in the 1700’s, and some from men who fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain in October, 1780. Among them are the members of the Patrick Family, descended from one of the heroes of the battle. Their ancestor, Lt. Col. Frederick Hambright, led a contingent of Patriots known as the “South Fork Boys” who came from what is now Cleveland, Lincoln, and Gaston counties. At the beginning of the fight Hambright’s force was positioned along the northeast corner of the mountain, astride the only possible escape route for the Loyalist defenders. As the battle commenced, the South Fork Boys came under intense fire. One of their leaders, Major Chronicle, was killed almost instantly. Hambright rallied the troops and attacked up the hill. He was shot and seriously wounded, but kept leading his troops until the victory was won. The battle and Hambright’s valor are part of the family legacy, and that is part of the reason brothers Larry and Gilbert Patrick and Gilbert’s wife Jancy are intimately involved in the production of “Liberty Mountain.” Their family business, Patrick Yarn Mills, is the lead sponsor of the play, providing essential financial support. The Patricks’ mother, a direct descendant of Frederick Hambright, passed along stories of her ancestor’s bravery and the importance of the battle to the winning of the Revolutionary War. “She even had a relic from the battle,” Larry... read more
Joy Theatre Box Office Hours

Joy Theatre Box Office Hours

Online tickets sales are increasing, so don’t wait too long before getting yours! For those who have issues with the online purchase, we will be maintaining the following schedule of evening box office hours at the Joy Performance Center. Monday, June 15 thru Thursday, June 18 from 7 PM until 9 PM & Monday, June 22 thru Thursday, June 25 from 7 PM until... read more
Short Week of Rehersals

Short Week of Rehersals

One more short week of intensive rehearsals before the curtain rises Friday, June 26 for the summer production of “Liberty Mountain,” the Revolutionary War drama, at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain. For the first several days of rehearsals, director Caleb Sigmon and the cast worked on individual scenes, and then they began to put scenes together into the two acts that make up the play.  Many of the scenes involve combat, and that requires intricate choreography to make sure the action flows seamlessly and – even more importantly – that safety comes first.  The drama culminates in the savage hand-to-hand battle between Patriots and Loyalists on Kings Mountain in October, 1780, which turned the tide of the American Revolution. The cast is an excellent mixture of professional and amateur actors, several of whom were involved in the premier production of “Liberty Mountain” last October.  And some of those are in different roles than they were in the original.  Today, I’d like to introduce you to two of the cast members who represent a contrast in the makeup of the play. Mary Grace Keller brings superb theatre credentials and a wealth of experience to “Liberty Mountain.”  A 2003 graduate of Kings Mountain High School, she studied drama at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and Aldelphi University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Performing Arts.  For a year after college she toured with a children’s theatre production in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota, then spent another three years in theatre and film in New York and California. Mary Grace came home to Kings... read more
The Patriots are Gathering

The Patriots are Gathering

The Patriots are gathering on “Liberty Mountain.”  Three weeks of intensive rehearsals are underway at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain, leading up to the first of 15 summer performances beginning June 26.  A cast of 30 is bringing the story of the Revolutionary War battle of Kings Mountain to life under the direction of veteran theatre professional Caleb Ryan Sigmon. Rehearsals began last Sunday (June 7) when the entire cast and crew spent several hours at the Kings Mountain National Military Park, where the battle took place on October 7, 1780.  Their experience began at the National Park Service’s excellent visitor center, with its interactive exhibits that introduce visitors to the battle site, the Patriot and Loyalist leaders who led the combatants, and the weapons they used.  A highlight of the visitors center is a film by the History Channel which vividly portrays the savage fight that turned the tide of the American Revolution. The cast walked the site of the battleground itself and saw how Patriot fighters, attacking up the slopes of the ridge, firing and taking cover behind trees and rocks, took a deadly toll of the Loyalist militiamen on top.  The battle lasted only an hour, but when it was over the Loyalist force was destroyed – killed, wounded and captured.  Its leader, British major Patrick Ferguson, lay dead. Director Sigmon says, “I thought it was critical for our theatre group to walk the ground where it took place, to see for themselves how the Patriots, against great odds, prevailed.  The actors are taking that first-hand experience back to the theatre and weaving it... read more
Company Orientation Day

Company Orientation Day

We had an incredible Company Orientation Day for our summer season! Special thanks to Ranger Leah and our friends at Kings Mountain National Military Park for hosting a special tour and weapons demonstration for us! We had a blast immersing our cast and crew into the history of our... read more
A historic back yard

A historic back yard

It’s not every community that has an historic battlefield in its back yard, and that’s one thing that sets Gaston and Cleveland counties apart from most anywhere in America.

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WATCH & VOTE for Liberty Mountain Tonight on WTVI!

WATCH Kings Mountain Historical Museum’s Video on WTVI PBS Charlotte’s “Carolina Impact” TONIGHT – Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00 pm THEN VOTE FOR US TO WIN $10,000 IN UNDERWRITING! CLICK HERE TO VOTE! Kings Mountain Historical Museum has been selected as one of three finalists, along with the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and the Allegro Foundation, in WTVI PBS Charlotte’s Community Give Back nonprofit spotlight contest. The three finalists each received a video profile that will air during “Carolina Impact,” and can be used by each organization to help them promote their cause for years to come. The video profile will provide valuable exposure on television across WTVI’s 13-county viewing region. Kings Mountain Historical Museum’s video will be the last of the three videos to air; it will air TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 21 at 8:00 pm. Viewers will then choose the contest winner by voting at www.pbscharlotte.org from April 21 through May 5. The winning organization will receive $10,000 in free underwriting on PBS Charlotte. “We saw the impact of local voters recently when Red Bridges Barbecue Lodge in Shelby won the 2015 Garden & Gun Ultimate Barbecue Bracket. That was local voters who cared enough to make that happen. We are hoping the community will come together again to support the Museum with their votes. The $10,000 in free underwriting would have a huge impact on driving local tourism and economic development,” said Kings Mountain Historical Museum Director Adria Focht. Kings Mountain Historical Museum’s video profile highlights the community partnership project centered around Liberty Mountain, the Revolutionary drama penned by renowned author and playwright Bob Inman and presented by the... read more

Tickets On Sale

Tickets for Robert (Bob) Inman’s Revolutionary War drama, Liberty Mountain, which will be performed in Kings Mountain’s Joy Theater on weekends from June 26 through July 19, are now available for online purchase at www.kmlibertymountain.com.

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Order Tickets Now

Call 704-730-9408 or email jim@kmlt.org