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Town plans remount of community play for fall, starts collecting more stories

The story of Jonesborough, as told in the community play, ‘I am Home,’ earlier this year, will likely return to the stage in October.
Jonesborough leaders are planning a remount of the play to coincide with the the National Storytelling Festival in October.
The play is part of the recently created Jonesborough Yarn Exchange, a project that began more than a year ago to tell the stories of the town and its people.
Members of the organization Community Performance International gathered stories of the town’s people last year, then used those stories to write and develop ‘I Am Home.’
Approximately 60 to 80 people’s stories are included in the community play, which debuted at the McKinney Arts Center at Booker T. Washington School in April.
Town officials are looking at holding a remount of the play for four consecutive weekends, with the first weekend’s performances under a tent as part of the National Storytelling Festival.
According to Parks and Recreation Director Rachel Conger, opening the play in conjunction with the festival will draw more people and help sell out the remaining weekends worth of shows.
Staff members are currently working on the logistics of carrying out the production in a tent during the four-week run of the show sowmehere in the downtown district.
Since the set has already been built and costumes and other items already designed, Conger said expenses for the show will be much less than the first go around.
Production expenses for the spring showing of ‘I Am Home’ cost the town an estimated $50,000, while at least another $50,000 was spent to gather the stories and write the play.
The project was funded through a $400,000 donation by James Martin in memory of his late wife, Mary B. Martin. Approximately $200,000 of that donation remains in the town’s Mary Martin Program for the Arts account.
As ‘I Am Home’ takes to the stage again, another story collecting process is beginning to possibly create a second community play for Spring 2012.