Tongues of Fire at the Ashe Civic Center



Article Published: Sep. 6, 2012 | Modified: Sep. 12, 2012
Tongues of Fire at the Ashe Civic Center


Touring Theatre of North Carolina is announces the second production in its Kinfolk Series, a collection of “sometimes humorous, always profound” stories about families that are drawn from some of the finest works in Southern literature.

“Tongues of Fire” will be presented at the Ashe Civic Center on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. This performance is part of the On the Same Page Literary Festival and is sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council.

This adaptation of Lee Smith’s “Tongues of Fire” is a story of teenage dislocation and bewilderment when a middle-class family’s circumstances spin out of control. With a mother firmly focused on “rising above” the nervous breakdown and “keeping up appearances at all costs,” teenage Karen longs to find a place that speaks to her need for attention and, at the same time, her need for inclusion. She eventually finds it in a working class, primitive church where she is baptized in a plastic swimming pool and learns to speak in tongues.

“Tongues of Fire,” like other stories by Smith, is rich in detail, comic yet dark, and filled with references to music. Adapted and directed by Touring Theatre of North Carolina’s founder and producing artistic director Brenda P. Schleunes, this story is brought to life with heart and comedy and is highlighted with an a cappella singing trio.

Karen, Lee’s character, is played by two actors – Laurine Concutelli, the adult who narrates, and Megan McIver, the young Karen who acts out the emotions and angst of a 13-year-old girl. Deborah Kintzing plays the proper Southern mama, and rounding out the cast is David Fracarro, Camilla Millican and Kay Thomas.

The play takes place at the Ashe Civic Center, located at 962 Mount Jefferson Road in West Jefferson.

Smith is a featured author during the On the Same Page Literary Festival in West Jefferson. Her book of short stores, “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger,” is the community read book, and “Tongues of Fire” is part of the book. Smith will be giving an author talk on Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Ashe Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. For more information, including an event listing, visit http://www.onthesamepagefestival.org.

Tickets for “Tongues of Fire” may be purchased in advance at the Ashe Arts Center or by phone with a credit card at (336) 846-2787. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students.

The On the Same Page Festival is funded, in part, by a grant from South Arts, along with funding from Skyline Membership Corporation, Ashe County, the Friends of the Ashe County Public Library, Caddell Communications and the Ashe County Arts Council.

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