Healthy Engagement 101: Theatre at the Library – A New Community Theatre Group in Franklin, NC


Theatre is work.  No one knows that better than Roberta Pipitone, a retired drama teacher of 30 years, who has graciously volunteered her time to help the Macon County Public Library continue to build a theatre program.  Pipitone not only wrote this season’s suspenseful comedy: “Murder by the Book” – to take place at the Macon County Public Library this November 1-3 at 7:30pm – but she directed, built the set, and costumed every single one of the 14 characters.  All the credit, however, doesn’t just go to her.

EPIC (Every Person Is Creative) was the original theatre program at the Macon County Public Library.  Ellen Agee saw a need in the community to encourage young adults, teens, and tweens to express their creativity through art, theatre, and music.  The library is carrying on that tradition but opening the experience up to be inclusive of all age groups.  The current play has actors, actresses, and an amazing tech crew that range in age from 9 to over 60.

The program, currently called: “Theatre at the Library”, is sponsored by the Macon County Public Library and has received many generous contributions from the community including donations from the following organizations: Appalachian ACE, Habitat ReStore, REACH, CareNet, The Attic, Jennings Building Supply, the Filling Station, The Art Room, Wal-Mart, and Nest Feathers.  While “Murder by the Book” is our first show as a community theatre troupe, we hope to continue the program by putting on shows twice per year.  This means we need more volunteers – set builders, tech crew members, lighting specialists, sound specialists, costumers, and, of course, actresses and actors.

In the future, we’d like to incorporate local playwrights and directors to help us produce more shows in order to be truly inclusive of our community.  While we have a long way to go on that regard, we’ve certainly had the privilege of working with some amazing talent in Macon County.  If you are interested in joining our group, please contact Savannah DeHart at the Macon County Public Library at 828-524-3600.

“Murder by the Book” promises to be a hilarious mystery based in the 1930s.  Finding themselves stranded on an island while attempting to attend a writer’s workshop, our cast – several “prominent authors” – struggles to find their way off of the island while avoiding certain death.   Who is the murderer?  What is their motive? Why didn’t F. Scott Fitzgerald attend?  Will anyone survive?  All will be revealed on November 1st at 7:30pm, the opening night of “Murder by the Book.”  Admission is free and everyone is welcome, parental guidance is required.  Donations are encouraged!

The Macon County Public Library would like to thank Roberta and Lenny Pipitone for all their hard work in writing, directing, and producing the play.  We’d like to thank Melissa Hannah, our Stage Manager and Kathleen Moore who has been to every rehearsal to help with any and every thing since August.  We would like to thank our cast and tech crew who have been totally devoted to the show.  Thank you as well to our local businesses and nonprofits who have donated to the program.   Finally, we would like to thank Ellen Agee for creating the original EPIC group.

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