ROCKFORD —The NoneSuch Playmakers Theatre group will open the Fifth Annual Remember Rockford Families Reunion Sept. 6 with an original play “Written in Stone.” The two-day event is open to the public.
The dramatic troupe led by Brack and Angela Llewellyn will portray early Rockford residents and community leaders including Mark and Nancy York, Charles B. and Mollie Davis, William Yancey and Paulina Davenport, John and Delania Burrus, William and Letitia Norman, and William Polk and Mary Dobson.
“We are calling the play ‘Written in Stone’ since it begins in the graveyard and the characters speak in the past tense of their lives,” said Director Brack Llewellyn. “I feel pretty good about the work. The Rockford book and Hannah Holyfield were both very helpful, as was information from many of the descendants she put us in contact with.”
“The location is so meaningful to us. We’ve been there twice (as a cast). I want the actors to stand in the place where these people lived and worked,” Llewellyn said. “It really brings it home to us as actors and hopefully the audience, too. We are excited about it.” He said the stories told by the cast amounts to ten and the group plans to look into more portrayals for the future.
Lewellyn said one challenge for actors is creating characters of persons who may never have been interviewed or seen by any of the audience.
Rockford Preservation Society spokesperson Hannah Holyfield said Rockford descendants continue to come for the opportunity to visit the place their ancestors lived, fellowship and for the chance to learn something new about their history. She said more than 60 persons are already signed up to attend.
Saturday’s events are slated to begin at 10 a.m. at the Rockford Cemetery with the dram. Reunion activities continue with a BBQ lunch, bluegrass music by Eric Marshall and his son, tours of the historic buildings and sharing of family and local history. The BBQ lunch is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
On Sept. 7, a Rockford Methodist Church 100th anniversary worship service is set to begin at 11 a.m. followed by a covered dish meal on the church grounds with any local denominations welcome to participate. Covered dish participants are encouraged to bring a favorite dish and join the Southern tradition.
Participants are asked to bring a chair and their family histories. Interested person may go to the web site www.rememberrockford.com to register online, email Hannah Holyfield at firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 336-374-3825 for information.