Performed on January 18, 2020
Storming Heaven BlurbIn January 2019 West Virginia Public Theatre produced a staged reading of Storming Heaven: The Musical which garnered deep and widespread community support and interest. The play was written by Katy Blake and Peter Davenport. They collaborated with Tracy Lawrence and FlipAnderson on the music to create a clear Appalachian sound. It seems very fitting that the first production be done in West Virginia because the show brings a powerful West Virginia story to life for contemporary audiences.
Multifaceted challenges regarding industry, job opportunities, and economic hardships have always been part of the West Virginia story, but this musical celebrates one of the state’s greatest accomplishments. It touches on the grit, strength, and endurance of the West Virginia people. Itis about the backbone of the WV story, its people. Based on Denise Giardina’s award-winning novel, the story of the Coal Wars of West Virginia is portrayed through the eyes of five members of a small mining community. Their struggle to survive in the face of the coal company’s suppression erupts into a battle, the Battle of Blair Mountain, which irrevocably changes each of their lives. The narrative presents an opportunity to tell a noteworthy and often forgotten WestVirginia story on a wider stage, impacting both state and national perceptions of West Virginia history and its history. It is a chance to tell our story and to break the stereotypes for everyone.
This show provides an extraordinary opportunity to develop something uniquely West Virginianthat could expand to national and possibly even international exposure, while at the same time providing an opening for the power of the arts to speak directly to WestVirginia’s population about who they are both historically and artistically
Presented at: Gladys G. Davis Theatre
Creative Arts Center, 1 Fine Arts Dr, Morgantown, WV 26506