The Northern hemisphere isn't halfway through its summer until
Aug. 7, but the world of outdoor drama operates under different rules.
On Friday, July 15, "Horn in the West," Boone's outdoor drama, celebrated its 25th show of the year. This places "Horn" at the midway point of this year's run of 50 performances.
In the play, North Carolina is racked with internal strife, rebellious thought and the beginnings of mutinous action against the British Crown. Colonial resistance toward British rule culminated in the disastrous 1771 Battle of Alamance. Largely to escape the expected British crackdown on colonial dissidents, the play's characters flee westward toward the freedom they hope to find in the North Carolina mountains.
These immigrants were independent by nature. Generally speaking, the settlers in the American colonies had strong reasons to leave Europe. The oppressive and static world of Old Europe had few opportunities for those not born into nobility or money.
Many left to freely practice their religion, to ensure a viable future for their children and to democratically decide how their communities should operate.
When the settlers bravely moved westward, their ordeal was far from over. The freshly arrived pioneers had to literally hack homesteads out of the imposing wilderness, protect their families from the Indian and wildlife threats, and choose how to navigate the stormy sea of rebellion that still engulfed the colonies. Their job was but half done.
In a modern sense, "Horn in the West" is but half done. Its actors are now comfortable with the material. The fight scenes, singing and dancing are now becoming second nature. But improvements and hard work are still needed.
According to "Horn" production staff, "Our dedicated cast and crew still have tough jobs to do. Just this week, many stayed until the early hours of the morning to re-rig the lights to better cover the stage."
Others have to deal with injuries accumulated in the course of duty and to tighten up the gymnastics of the carefully choreographed battles and dances.
Off-stage, regular features include catered dinners Thursday through Saturday night from Dan'l Boone Inn, along with the on-site the Hickory Ridge Homestead Living History Museum, which presents an immersive and realistic look at the colonial world portrayed in the play.
"Horn in the West" takes place at the outdoor Daniel Boone Amphitheater, located at 591 Horn in the West Drive in Boone. "Horn" is open weekly from Tuesday to Sunday night, with shows starting at 8 p.m. For more information, including special offers and discounts, call (828) 264-2120 or visit http://www.horninthewest.com.