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'Horn' sounds June 17

Article Published: Jun. 16, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
'Horn' sounds June 17

Above, 'Horn in the West' public relations director Virginia Roseman, center, visits with two women who have longstanding ties to the outdoor drama. During Monday evening's rehearsal, pictured, Mary Lawrence Jellicorse, left, and Catherine Ross, right, watched the action from the concourse. Jellicorse performed in the early years of 'Horn in the West,' beginning in 1956. She portrayed Quaker Mary for three years, Nancy Ward for two years and Martha Stewart for three years. Ross' late husband, Bill, was one of the most active people in High Country theater for decades, teaching drama at Watauga High School and performing as McKenzie and other male leads in productions of 'Horn in the West.' Roseman affectionately calls 'Horn in the West' alumni who visit the production 'Old Hornies.'
Photos by Jeff Eason

"Horn in the West," originally scripted by Kermit Hunter, has been traditionally produced each summer since 1952.

The show will celebrate its 60th anniversary this summer season, when it opens Friday, June 17.

"Horn" is the oldest Revolutionary War outdoor drama in the United States. Technicians, actors, managers, volunteers and many more have dedicated countless hours to ensuring the production is nothing short of an amazing success.

"There's a lot of passion from each company member and department that work hard to make it the best it can be," said Grace Varland, an intern who assists with stage management, adding that those involved often return year after year to help.

"Horn" is an outdoor drama that tells the story of settlers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, using drama, choreography, music and action to captivate its audience.

Not only does it educate, the show brings history to life before viewers' very eyes. Through battle scenes, dancing and an intriguing plot, producers aim to move the hearts of their audience.

"This year, the play is cleaner, tighter and much easier to understand for all ages," said actor Wes Martin, who plays the legendary Daniel Boone.

Each year, the script is modified to keep the story fresh and memorable.

"I don't want the community to forget this place," director Julie Richardson said, saying it's the play's responsibility to "preserve the past for the future."

"Horn in the West" is performed at the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre on Horn in the West Drive in Boone. The show premieres Friday, June 17. "Horn in the West" runs Tuesday through Sunday, with gates opening at 7:30 p.m. and the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $9 for children, though special discounts are available throughout the summer.

For more information, call (828) 264-2120 or visit

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