Hometown play telling mass displacement story hits harder after author’s passing

The majority of original cast from the first run is back to reprise their roles.
The majority of original cast from the first run is back to reprise their roles.(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 11:29 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - “Can’t Feel at Home” is a play rooted in the Shenandoah Valley returning to the Court Square Theater. The majority of the original cast from the first run is back to reprise their roles.

One takeaway both the cast and crew have is the original story hits harder now that its author, Dr. John T. Glick, has passed away.

“We have some people in the cast who are descendants of people who were moved off the mountain as well, even though we’ve seen the scene so many times, in rehearsals and performance, sometimes when we are rehearsing, we are still moved to tears,” “Can’t Feel at Home” Director Stanley Swartz said.

People involved with the play’s production knew Glick, including Joe Appleton who did theatre with Glick back in high school. Producers describe the play as Dr. Glick’s legacy staying alive.

“He was a very accomplished artist, an accomplished musician, and he was an ethnic historian, and a journal keeper in it all comes together in this play,” “Can’t Feel at Home” Co-Producer Joe Appleton said.

Directors have tweaked the play based on audience reactions, and this round comes with a pre-show.

“People come early every time, so we’ve included songs — cast members coming out and singing solos or duet or quartet, or whatever mountain songs and appropriate things,” Swartz said.

Families being kicked out of their homes is how Shenandoah National Park came to be. “Can’t Feel at Home” gives permission to talk about what happened with hopes of healing just like how Dr. Glick wrote it.

“We can easily apply it to our own current situation and hopefully that’s part of the healing is that we do better in our own lives now,” Swartz said.

This play has been sold out in its previous runs in Harrisonburg with tickets selling fast for each showtime. The return of “Can’t Feel at Home” is only the start of where it’s headed.

“Hoping we will do it on an annual basis. Sometime in November, we will be presenting it to all of the juniors and seniors in Rockingham County Public Schools,” Appleton said.

Opening night is August 31 for “Can’t Feel at Home”.

Volunteers get a chance to watch the show at no charge.

Tickets cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door with the following show dates:

Thursday (Aug. 31) at 7:30 p.m.

Friday (Sept. 1) at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday (Sept. 2) at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday (Sept. 3) at 3:00 p.m.

Thursday (Sept. 7) at 7:30 p.m.

Friday (Sept. 8) at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday (Sept. 9) at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday (Sept. 10) at 3:00 p.m.