Thespians will take tour of city

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 1999

And when an opportunity came up for Mrs.

Thursday, September 02, 1999

And when an opportunity came up for Mrs. Taylor to share more of Ironton’s history with her 11-member choir, she loaded them up and took them to the sesquicentennial play, "This Town is America," tryouts at Ironton High School Wednesday night.

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"It’s exciting," Mrs. Taylor said. "I think it will be nice to hear about the history of Ironton. I, personally, know a little of Ironton’s history, but the children need to know it. And by being in this play, they might become part of Ironton’s history."

Ironton’s Sesquicentennial Committee came up with the idea of a play commemorating Ironton’s past, and recruited Jeff Handley to write the two-act musical earlier this year.

The play will open with a grandfather telling his grandson just how much has happened in the city of Ironton over the years, Handley said.

"It starts when Ironton is born and ends post World War II," he said. "I definitely think it is a great story. Basically, the theme of the story is the historical things that happened in Ironton. These things also happened across the United States."

"This Town is America" will showcase the highlights of Ironton’s history. The city’s founding, the underground railroad and the first Memorial Day Parade are only a few of the subjects touched on in the play.

Such a large-scale project requires a large cast, Handley said. And no one who wants to participate in this production will be turned away, he said.

But he should not have any problems filling all 82 parts in this play.

More than 50 people showed up for the first day of play tryouts Wednesday.

And more were expected to attend them tonight, Handley said.

Angie Goldcamp, 12, has never tried out for a play before, but she attended the meeting Wednesday.

"I thought it would be fun," she said. "And I’ll learn about the city of Ironton."

Angie has lived in Ironton all of her life, but doesn’t know too much about the city’s history.

"I’ll get to experience where my family came from," she said. "It will teach me about my family. And I think it would be good for others, too. It would teach them about Ironton, too."

Angie wasn’t alone at the try outs. She brought her mother with her, as well.

Carol Goldcamp has had a sneak peak at the play – she helped Handley type the prologue.

"I thought it was interesting," Mrs. Goldcamp said. "It’s a chance to see what has happened in Ironton. Ironton has so much history."

Even though Mrs. Goldcamp knows a little more than most people about the play, she said she doesn’t have a preference about what her role will be.

"I’ll be tickled to death to get a part," she said. "I know that whenever the kids are working for a school play, there is just an aura of excitement. This is an opportunity for the community to work together."

There will be two more days of tryouts for the sesquicentennial play – tonight and Sept. 7, both at 7 p.m., Handley said.

"Everybody who wants to be in the play is going to be in the play," he said. "Everybody’s welcome."

Rehearsals will begin the week of Sept. 13, and will continue until the first day of the performance.

The play will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13 and Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Ironton High School Auditorium.

Ticket prices have not been determined yet, Handley said.