Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Staff/Personnel
Series 03: Histories
RECORD PMSS 16 Dramatics 1913-1928
Evelyn K. Wells’ Record of activities related to Dramatics at Pine Mountain Settlement School during the years fro 1913- until 1928.
TAGS: Evelyn K. Wells ; dramatics ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; plays ; theater ; Shakespeare ; Robin Hood ; Aunt Sis ; Uncle John ; Pageant of Pine Mountain ; Peter Pan ; The Piper ; Twelfth Night ; Merchant of Venice ; The Rose and the Ring ; Queen of Hearts ; Sun-Up ; Brit Wilder ; A Welch Honeymoon ; Christmas Play ; House in the Woods ;
We remember an interesting succession of plays: Robin Hood in a real Sherwood Forest, Peter Pan, and The Piper with beautiful outdoor setting, Shakespeare done by children whose own speech was so often Shakespearean, The Pageant of Pine Mountain, given for the Board Members in 1919, with its episodes of Indians, early settlers Uncle William and the School, set against the Pole House Knoll where now the log cabin of Uncle William and Aunt Sal stands. The children wrote this pageant themselves taking whole school sessions to visit Uncle John and Aunt Sis and Aunt Sal to get the proper atmosphere and of course the properties were all real, the flint lock gun, the linsey skirt, etc.
The naivete of early presentations of Twelfth Night and the Merchant of Venice was lost as the years went on, until we wondered in 1925 as we watched Orlando and Rosalind, if they could still be Pine Mountain children, so elaborate and smooth was the performance. In 1927 the High School’s presentation of Sun-Up was memorable, showing the children’s real understanding of mountain characters. During the last five years we have made a deliberate effort to return to absolute simplicity in the matter of costumes and properties, that the children’s imagination might keep at work unaided, and they have responded well. We have been delighted particularly with the ingenuity of their impromptu charades.
Worker’s plays have enlivened the long winters when the school family, penned up by bad roads and bad weather, could only turn in upon itself for diversion. The Rose and the Ring of 1922, the Queen of Hearts in 1925, A Welsh Honeymoon in 1927, are high spots in the light of our memory.
The Christmas Play [Nativity Play]has evolved, like the early mystery plays, gradually, to its present lovely adaptability to our Chapel chancel, being first given in the House in the Woods, then in the School-house [Mary Sinclair Burkham School House I – II]. The present perfection of costume and lighting can never supplant for us who saw the beautiful and touching simplicity of the first manger scene when the shepherds wore raincoats turned inside-out and every character, in makeshift costume, was thoroughly living the part. The present play is partly the work of the children who have suggested and changed the lines from year to year and partly of Mrs. Zande who chose the scripture passages for the prophets and fitted the dramatic incident into the service list.
EVELYN K. WELLS GUIDE TO ADMINISTRATIVE CORRESPONDENCE
RECORD OF PINE MOUNTAIN SETTLEMENT SCHOOL 1913-1928 [INDEX] (Early in-depth history of Pine Mountain Settlement School)
3. Year by Year [Construction, Workers, Gifts, Children, Events, etc.]
12. Extension Work
18. Religious Life
19. The Road
22. List of Workers
[22 sections of Pine Mountain Settlement School History gathered by Evelyn K. Wells from 1913 to 1928]
EVELYN K. WELLS PUBLICATIONS
Wells, Evelyn K. The Ballad Tree: A Study of British and American Ballads, Their Folklore, Verse and Music, Together with Sixty Traditional Ballads and Their Tunes. New York: Ronald Press, 1950. Print.
[See Bibliography below for a listing of additional publications.]
EVELYN K. WELLS “A Little True Blue American,” Over Sea and Land: Our Southern Mountains, November 1920, p. 140.
EVELYN K. WELLS TALKS
EVELYN K. WELLS PMSS Harvard University talk, on Folk Music. July 21, 1955