21. The AMC Library Tour, 2019
This June, we’re bringing back The Ballad of Romeo and Juliet with a Community Library Tour. We’ve partnered with four Buncombe County libraries across the region to bring the show to their communities.
You may remember that last year we spent the month of June in the lot at 68 Haywood in downtown Asheville. We had a blast there and learned a lot about curating an event in the heart of the city. While it worked on many levels, there was a lingering frustration that we were only reaching members of our community that either lived close to downtown, those willing to make the journey, or visitors to our fine city. We loved each and every audience member and they made the show what it was, but we know there are so many more fine folk out there that either aren’t willing to fight the traffic and parking or who just don’t feel invited downtown. During the run, we had an outlier performance at the Swannanoa Library on a Sunday afternoon. Frankly, we were there mostly due to personal reasons as my mom grew up just down the street from where we performed. The performance itself had a light audience due to the light rain, but there was something undeniably magical about it. First, the partnership with the library made a ton of sense as we’re both organizations bringing free stories to the community. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we were in the middle of a neighborhood and people could walk from their front porch to our stage. This is what the Show Truck (our mobile stage) gives us: the ability to bring our storytelling to our audience. So, when reflecting on this experience and figuring out our next chapter, it became increasingly clear. I began reaching out to local library branches and within a couple of months, we had a tour on the books.
We will play the five weekends in June, beginning where we last ended. Our first weekend will be back in the lot at 68 Haywood, but in partnership with Pack Memorial library across the street. In addition to our Friday and Saturday evening shows, we’ll do a Saturday matinee in the library’s auditorium for those who prefer the indoor experience. For the second weekend, we’ll be southeast of the city at Fairview Library for two evening performances, followed by two more evenings the following weekend northwest of the city at Leicester Library. The fourth weekend will see us back at the Swannanoa Library for a Friday evening and a Saturday matinee. Finally, we’ll end where we began with three final shows back with Pack Memorial library. For those that saw last year’s production, we’ll have most of our cast back with a few new faces. Given that we look at these myths as living documents, you’ll notice changes here and there, but the bulk of the story will remain. We couldn’t be more thrilled about this new journey.