The Iron Mountain Review Vol. XXXII

The Guest Editor’s Page

same queries occurred from panel to panel, such as what defines Appalachian theatre, who can write Appalachian theatre, what subjects should Appalachian theatre address, and to what audience should Appalachian theatre appeal? As panelist Derek Davidson states, “First, the Appalachian theatre, like the region, is not monolithic. It cannot be neatly summarized in terms of its contents, its diversity of artists, its plethora of missions and audience bases.” In a similar manner, this issue of The Iron Mountain Review cannot neatly contain the events of the festival; in a literal fashion, this issue goes beyond the festival, because reactions to the performance of The Other Side of the Mountain led to a panel at the thirty-ninth annual Appalachian Studies Association Conference, where participants in the Emory & Henry event presented a session titled “Voices from the Other Side: A New Appalachia, an Old Affront.” This issue contains two of the essays from that panel. Aside from the scholarly papers presented at the festival, this issue also features transcriptions of the less scripted, more animated (but always companionable) parts of sessions, the inclusion of which has required some discrete editing, emendation, and bracketed insertions for clarity. Finally, The Iron Mountain Review has the privilege to offer the complete script of the tenth anniversary performance of Higher Ground , which includes touchstone scenes from previous performances. We have a full issue, and it still does not seem big enough. The opportunity to revisit the 2015 festival through these documents has reminded me how vital this creative impulse proves in enriching our day-to-day lives, and I appreciate my role in helping to preserve this record of the event. I also thank The Iron Mountain Review ’s general editor, Nicole Drewitz-Crockett, and its assistant editor, Jennifer Daniel, for their patience, advice, and encouragement during my guest editor stint. I am eager for late fall, when it will be time for the next festival.

When Nicole Drewitz-Crockett, editor of The Iron Mountain Review , invited me to guest edit the Appalachian Theatre issue, I agreed without hesitation. I have come to consider the Emory & Henry Literary Festival one of the more important functions in our Mountain South region because it conventionally celebrates the work of active Appalachian writers: people who reflect and direct our understanding of Appalachian culture. In turn, The Iron Mountain Review , which collects the proceedings of the festival such as author interviews, transcriptions of panels, and scholarly papers, serves as a valued, sometimes first resource in the study of rising Appalachian authors. Each festival is a generous gift to the Appalachian community, and each Iron Mountain Review issue preserves the bonds this event nurtures among our diverse culture, our writers, and their works. I could not turn down Dr. Drewitz-Crockett’s invitation, as the thirty-fourth annual festival offered a major shift in content and presentation. Rather than focusing on a single author’s work, it explored Appalachian theatre. This change in focus occurred because in 2015 the literary festival commemorated the opening of the Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts, a significant addition to the Emory & Henry campus, with an art gallery and many performance spaces. The building’s layout even permits those in the upper hallway to look through windows into the set design and construction space of the Theatre Department. The festival’s events showcased the center’s amphitheater with a storytellingpresentationbyHannahHarvey, thecenter’sblack box theatre with the Theatre Department’s full production of Catherine Bush’s The Other Side of the Mountain , and the center’s main stage with the tenth anniversary performance of Higher Ground . This range of live drama demonstrated in a mere couple of days the McGlothlin’s status as a worthy venue. The festival’s presentations also offered a wide range of perspectives regarding Appalachian theatre. Many of the

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