By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
Twenty-five years after the musical was first presented in Corinth, “On Shiloh Hill” will be presented next weekend in remembrance of the 150th anniversaries of the battles of Corinth and Shiloh.
“On Shiloh Hill: A Musical Resurrection of the Civil War,” written by Bill Schustik, tells the story of modern-day characters who find Civil War artifacts in their attic, and are then taken back in time to the Battle of Shiloh. The way the Civil War affected every day life and how it tore families apart are two big themes in the musical.
“Once the women see their men march off to war, some reality sets in – and as the men themselves get on to the battlefield,” said director Myra Byrnes. “For most of these young men, if they weren’t in war times, they would be friends.”
Such is the case for the character Driscoll, played by Greg Younger. The funny, lighthearted Driscoll is in the Confederate Army, but his son is a Union soldier.
“I’m the comic relief, but I have a really serious part,” Younger said.
Lesley Petty plays Julia, a mother who worries over her family members on the battlefield.
“When the soldiers are hurt on the battlefield, they don’t call Dad. They don’t call their wife. They call for their mother – and I play that role,” she said.
“On Shiloh Hill” is full of emotions, so Petty has been telling folks to “bring Kleenex.”
“It’s a two-hankie show,” she said.
A troubadour helps narrate the story, and the music – all songs that would’ve been sung during the war – is provided by the Smokehouse Band and Lost Cause.
Byrnes hopes this production is as much of a history lesson as it is an entertaining depiction of life during the Civil War.
“This was such a powerful story that many in the community encouraged Corinth Theatre-Arts to present it again,” she said. “It truly is an emotional story.”
What: Corinth Theatre-Arts presents “On Shiloh Hill: A Musical Resurrection of the Civil War”
When: 7:30 p.m. April 13-14, 2 p.m. April 15
Where: Coliseum Civic Center, Corinth
Cost: $12/adults, $6/students
Info: (662) 287-2995