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The HOMECOMING: A Christmas Eve Odyssey

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S: The HOMECOMING: A Christmas Eve Odyssey...December 11, 2010...by The PAL Theatre Company

BC: Goodnight, Everybody... | ...Goodnight, John Boy...

FC: The HOMECOMING: A Christmas Eve Odyssey December 11, 2010 Presented by the Performer's Arts League

1: " | "It was Christmas Eve, 1933, and my Father was late arriving home... That is Fact... the rest is Fiction..." | "It was Christmas Eve, 1933-and my Father was late arriving home... that is fact... the rest is Fiction..."

2: A family is pieced together with hope and faith. A family is quilted and bound with love and grace. | Starring... James D. Baird as John Earl Walton, Jr. "John-Boy"

3: Emma Katherine Owens as Mary Ellen Walton | Helen-Kate Baird as Mary Erin Walton | Jordan Collins as Mary Eunice Walton & Sarah Hicks as Mary Esther Walton "The Twins" | Raynie Swain as Mary Elizabeth Walton "Lil BIt"

4: Sam Hicks as Benjamin Jason Walton | Ben Beverly as James Robert Walton "Jim-Bob" | Hugh Baird as Matthew Spencer Walton "Punkin" | and special guest star Mac Owens as General Robert E. Lee "The Family Dog"

5: "Don't you worry none, Miss Missy...you leave the worrying to the grown folks.." | Pat Beverly as Olivia Spencer Walton | John Sharpe as John Earl Walton | Donald Weber as Grandpa Homer Spencer | Ann-Foss Owens as Grandma Mary Ida Spencer

6: Jeremy Craft as Charlie Sneed "The Robin Hood Bandit" | Scott Daniel Beverly as Sheriff Epperson Bridges | Evan Clarke as Birdshot Scroggins | Kevin Hicks as Ike Godsey

7: Melinda Hicks as "The Missionary Lady" "A Visitor" | "What is he doing ??? It's his only real talent, Ma'am..."

8: Obama Hussein Sisson as Sweet Little Jesus Boy | Stephen R. Sisson as Earl Hamner, Jr. "The Narrator" | Featuring: Marcia Suber as Cora-Beth Godsey | Stephen R. Sisson, Charmaine, Nehemiah, Gonza & Alexander Blount as The Dooleys Rev. Hawthorne, Claudette, Claudine, Clyde & Claudie

9: Hildegard Jo Stanley as Miss Mamie-Lou Baldwin | Kaysi Stevenson-Beverly as Miss Emily Regina Baldwin

10: "If my Daddy was here..." | "Like I was some old Mother hen with eight ducklings hangin' onto my tail feathers..."

11: "He aint' mangy, Mama... He's my Best Friend..."

12: All things grow better with love. | "He was a fat little feller with a red suit with white fur trim and black boots...so I picked up the biggest rock I could find..." | Lord, John Walton here. I just want to thank you for the mountain and even the snow out there and for this fine bunch of thoroughbreds at this table.."

13: "I was trying hard to fill my Father's shoes that year...We were in the middle of what they called the Great Depression... We just called it hard times..."

14: "I never told you this before, Mamie..but John-Boy kissed me once..softly & sweetly on the lips... | "That's the primary difference between us, Sister. You remember things with your head and I remember them with my heart..."

15: That old house of theirs used to be one of the finest plantations in all of Virginia...Now it's just a rundown old shell of a house packed to the ceiling with shelf after shelf of mason jars filled with what they call the recipe...It's nothing but a recipe for disaster..." | "Papa always said the recipe had great medicinal value..It's good for what ails you from the gout to gangrene..."

17: John-Boy has two Mommies...

18: The Beverly Family: Scott, Kaysi, Ben & Max

19: The Hicks Family: Kevin, Melinda, Sam & Sarah

20: A Special Note from John-Boy: This has been my first experience in theatre. This experience has become invaluable in my mind as a chance to learn not only to speak and articulate correctly on stage, but even more so to learn how to work cooperatively with others. I have been home-schooled for the past ten years by a patient and long-suffering mother. By her indispensable teaching and by that of Dr. and Mrs. Weber, I now plan to further my education at Brewton-Parker. I have had a semester length pause between my home schooling and my planned college education. This break in my mainline schooling has been filled to the brim with theatrical and interpersonal learning that has strengthened and challenged me to grow in new and challenging ways. Every single cast member has found a special place in my heart. We are a family, a family that has had its shares of troubles and joys, laughs and lectures, exciting surprises and shocking dramatic turns of events. How well we act or how often we flub our lines will not damage the integrity of this show. When the lights go up, the audience will see a family, a family that by hard work and the pure grace of God, has managed to keep its head above water. Out intention was to accurately portray the Waltons; instead, we have become them. James D. Baird

21: DIRECTOR’S NOTES: Earl Hamner, Jr.--the real John-Boy Walton --wrote in the introduction to his book GENEROUS WOMEN, “I have known many generous, courageous women. Some of them have been famous, their names and faces known all over the world. Others are known only in their own communities, but their gifts have been many and varied, and each has in her own way enriched my life and contributed to my becoming the man I am today.” Like Earl Hamner, I too have been blessed by the presence of many generous and courageous women in my life. Some were relatives, some teachers, some just life-long friends and mentors. While the main action of THE HOMECOMING centers on the expectation of the Father’s return, the major underlying theme is that of the unique relationship between a son and his mother. In adapting this story for the stage, I tried my best to incorporate my own childhood experiences growing up in rural Georgia into those of Hamner’s growing up in rural Virginia. I come from a family blessed with a long line of strong women deeply rooted in their faiths and in their work ethics. The character of Olivia Walton may be modeled after the real Doris Gianna Hamner but she is in essence motherhood itself. While Olivia may not be perfect, she is fierce in her loyalties to her family and her convictions. The mother portrayed in this production is certainly not the Olivia Walton of either the movie or the television series. This Olivia is a bit rougher around the edges than Michael Learned’s gentle spirit --yet not quite as brittle as Patricia Neal’s portrayal in the film--but somewhere I think in between the two. Olivia Walton is a multi-faceted jewel in which I see reflected not only my own Mother but the Mothers of my cast who have all worked so hard to help to bring this project to fruition. While space does not permit me to name them all—I would like to list a few: Charlotte, Ann, Kaysi, Melinda, Pat, Miranda, Denise, Deirdre, Sheila, Christy, and Charmaine. These generous, courageous women have and continue to inspire me to attempt better and more ambitious projects for the future. On behalf of the cast and crew: I wantt dedicate this production to our Mothers and Fathers. More personally, I dedicate this show to the honor of my dear friend Linda McCord who told me I could do and be anything I wanted in this world, my Mother who taught me how to look at things and to the memory my Grandmother who taught me how to dream. Stephen R. Sisson | "Goodnight, John-Boy..."

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Stephen R. Sisson
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  • Title: The HOMECOMING: A Christmas Eve Odyssey
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  • Published: about 9 years ago