Delta Center Stage’s first performance of the year, won’t be on a stage. This year’s revival of Monuments on Main Street will be the weekend of Oct. 16-18 with cemetery tours starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
The last tour each day will also include additional information about the history of the cemetery along with the six performances of characters from Greenville’s history.
The performances include Lewis Taylor Rucks, Carrie Stern, Norma Council O’Bannon, Juanita Turney, Freda Stein and Mike Bryer.
Each of the characters describe a certain era in Greenville’s history.
n Lewis Taylor Rucks is a former confederate soldier who was the son of a judge and mayor in Greenville. He was killed defending a Jewish man in the Isenberg Hotel in 1884.
n Carrie Stern was known as the Mother of Greenville Authors serving as a mentor for the writings of Delta authors such as David Cohen and William Alexander Percy. Stern herself was an author and artist. Carrie Stern Elementary School reminds us today of the contributions in education that this dedicated teacher brought to her students.
n Norma Council O’Bannon became the first woman Superintendent of the Washington County School System in 1948. She revolutionized the county school system making the system more efficient and establishing teaching certification levels for the county teachers. O’Bannon School was named in her honor.
n Freda Stein, along with husband, Jake, brought the community the original Stein Mart retail store. Freda was a long-time supporter of the arts in the community and was often seen working at the Stein Mart location. Ladies would often enter the store and ask for the “lady with the style.” Jake and Freda Stein Hall is named for this dynamic couple.
n Juanita Wright Turney was a long-time educator, supporter of the arts, and held the position of Hot Tamale Queen in 2013. Juanita was an ambassador for Greenville and took great pride in her hometown. She was the self-proclaimed Mother of Pomp and Circumstance and was loved and adored by many.
Delta Center Stage’s performances this year have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outdoor performances will allow for social distancing and safe gathering, according to DCS executive director Tim Bixler.
“I have had a lot of time to carefully consider the question of those who attend who might ask ‘Will I be safe?’” Bixler said. “The question is understandable, and I am absolutely certain that this event can be both produced and performed in the safest manner that is possible under the circumstances of the current pandemic. The science is in for certain that the chance of spread of SARS CoV-2 in an outdoor environment is extremely low. It is certainly true that anyone who attends will have the power of protecting themselves in their own hands through use of properly prescribed safety procedures with which we all are, by now, very familiar.”
Tickets to the event are available at Montage Marketplace, Brown’s Pharmacy and online at deltastage.com. Prices are $20 for adults, $10 for children and $50 for families. All annual passes from the 2019-2020 season will be honored.
“In light of the still very fluid situation, looking past the cemetery tour will be as follows: If you have a season ticket from last year, you may present that expired ticket for no-charge admission to this year’s tour,” Bixler said. “We do still expect to launch a ’20-’21 season ticket drive, but are still unable to plan that far forward. Hopefully this insanity will pass soon, and we can safely begin making longer-term plans in the near future. We appreciate the many calls of inquiry and your amazing patience and emotional support as we navigate these still uncharted waters.”