Scrap by scrap, piece by piece, a quilt comes together, assembled by pioneer women who sew and socialize in a unique expression of folk art. Quilters, a musical by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek, is about the lives of American pioneer women based on the book The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen.
In the American West, a pioneer woman, Sarah, and her six daughters, face frontier life. Rather than a straightforward storyline, the musical is presented as a series of short tales and tableaux matched with musical numbers, each presenting an aspect of frontier life or womanhood. The patches or blocks show girlhood, marriage, childbirth, spinsterhood, twisters, fire, illness, and death." The patches are ultimately put together to form one dramatic tableau.
Quilters stars local actors Amy Bartel, Patti Delano, Kelly Hamlin, Jennifer Potter Hayes, Connie Milligan, MaryAnn Lum Nelson, Lani Ulrich, and Stephen Wick with musical direction by Ellen Drake, vocal coaching by Connie Milligan and Judy Barker, costumes by Sue Russell, and quilts by Claire Oehler. Alan Saban is the director.
This mosaic captures the sweep and beauty, the terror and joy, the harsh challenge and abiding rewards of frontier life. But with this there is also love, warmth, rich and lively humor, and the moving spectacle of simple human dignity and steadfastness in the face of adversity. The play pays eloquent tribute to the courage and spirit of our nation's pioneer women. Who would have thought that quilts, quilting—quilters—had so much joy and pain, laughter and tears, so much life, beauty and drama in them?
Tickets for this concert are $10 at the door the day of the show with general admission seating. For more information, call View at (315) 369-6411.
--Posted by Leslie Bailey, View staff