Award-winning York One Act team ventures into the 1930s with production of “Whispers In The Hollow”

YORK – The York Dukes’ award-winning one act team is in full swing and the cast and crew are venturing back to the 1930s this season with their production of “Whispers in the Hollow” by R. R. Rudy Walz.

As explained by longtime YHS drama coach, Becky Stahr, “The idea of the proverbial witch has flooded the world’s storybooks. In the Appalachian or Smokey Mountains, stretching from West Virginia to Mississippi, folk magic or tradition of using native plants to heal has been used for centuries. The first people to combine Appalachian nature and spiritual ritual were the Cherokee and Choctaw. European settlers didn’t flood the early American colonies until the eighteenth century, carrying traditional folk healing practices with them from Western Europe.

“Throughout the years of the Spanish Inquisition, religious institutions used the term witch to identify someone practicing healing and ritual. When these Scottish, Irish and English settlers arrived, they combined their traditional practices with Native American knowledge about flowers, berries, roots and leaves native to Appalachia. Settlers from Germany and people of African descent also shared their wisdom about rituals and natural remedies. Out of this large melting pot was born a uniquely American tradition practiced mostly by familial matriarchs. Between 1860 and 1980, Appalachian women held and used knowledge about herbal and home remedies that could be used at a time when whole communities did not have access to hospitals or medical care. It was the unpaid labor of these mountain ‘witches’ which kept communities alive. While the term ‘witch’ is often understood today as a female magical practitioner, the term has historically been used to included individuals who did not conform to the strict norms of the day.

“In 1932 in the remote Appalachian town of Lufty, Tennessee,” Coach Stahr said, “Rube Ayers (Elle Mallck), Kezzie Ayers (Madi Miller) and Preacher Cread Ayers (Charlie Van Gomple) are struggling with the sickness of their little girl, Lillie Ayers (Riley Philipp). In an attempt to save Lillie, a mountain woman named Gazzie Dorsey (Raima Kreifels) and her daughter Estie Dorsey (Ava Goodwin) are asked to leave their remote mountain community to help. When these ‘witches’ come down the mountain, the town revolts against the use of strangers presenting non-traditional medicine and beliefs. Fear drives Bittie Connors (Taylor Peters), Dicy Didamy (Cecilia Asti) and Marcus Elliot (Brody Booth) to lead the town against traditions that are not socially accepted or understood. The lives of Gazzie Dorsey (Raima Kreifels), Estie Dorsey (Ava Goodwin), Zeta Aurelia (Grace Uhler), Celinda Ogle (Angelina  Shaw), Tipper Wallops (Emory Flynt), LeeLee Ridenour (Jordyn Harms) and Numa Gaires (Nell Chavanu) hang in the balance. Will the town accept people that are not exactly like themselves or should these ‘witches’ be eternally banned to the mountains forever? Find out this season in our production of Whispers in the Hollow!”

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The show was directed and adapted for the stage by Stahr, Paige Manley and Clare Bierbaum. Live music was composed and will be played under the direction of Madi Miller and Boe Fraser.  Sound and light design is led by Sebastian Rodriguez and Ike Colburn. Scenic design is led by Allie Colburn, Kadin Tesar and Chris Trejo. Hair and makeup designs are led by Yanesi Gallegos and Sophia Becker. Promotions are led by Melissa Eckhart and Alexis Davis. The costume captains are Maelynn Ericson and Carlye Philipp. The props captain is Kelsey Haack. The dance captain is Ava Goodwin. Ensemble captains are Emory Flynt and Riley Philipp.

Coach Stahr said, “The team is working hard to lead over 100 students in this year’s one-act production. The show does contain a strong subject matter, simulated weapons, fog and strobe lighting.  It will be 30 minutes long. The one-act program could not be more excited to start our competition season in November.  The cast and crew have already learned a lot by studying this historical time-period and have been working hard since August.  They cannot wait to bring this   story to life on the stage. The one-act team would love to have the York community come out and support our team members at every contest and performance possible. Thank you all for your continued support of our team.”

A public performance will be held on Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.

They will then embark on a number of competitions, with conference at Seward on Nov. 21 and districts at Milford at Dec. 1.

(Crew roster can be found below photo gallery)

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The following is the official roster of the many people involved:

  • Director: Becky Stahr
  • Technical Directors: Paige Manley and Clare Bierbaum
  • Technical Support: Brian Stahr
  • Captains
  • Hair and Makeup Captains – Sophia Becker and Yaneisi Gallegos
  • Promotions Captains – Alexis Davis and Melissa Eckhart
  • Sound and Lights Captains – Ike Colburn and Sebastian Rodriguez
  • Music Captains – Madi Miller and Boe Fraser
  • Ensemble Captains – Riley Philipp and Emory Flynt
  • Crew Stage Manager – Allie Colburn
  • Acting Stage Manager – Angelina Shaw
  • Crew Captains – Kadin Tesar and Chris Trejo
  • Acting Captains – Grace Uhler and Charlie Van Gomple
  • Props Captain – Kelsey Haack
  • Costumes Captain – Maelynn Ericson and Carlye Philipp
  • Dance Captain – Ava Goodwin
  • Cast List
  • Narrators 
  • Shady Bales: Claire Uhler
  • Peaceable Lambert: Emma Uhler
  • The Ayers Family 
  • Rube Ayers –  Elle Malleck
  • Kezzie Ayers – Madi Miller
  • Lillie Ayers – Riley Philipp (Captain)
  • Preacher Cread Ayers – Charlie Van Gomple (Captain)
  • The Witches
  • Gazzie Dorsey- Raima Kreifels
  • Estie Dorsey – Ava Goodwin  (Captain)
  • Zeta Aurelia- Grace Uhler (Captain)
  • Celinda Ogle – Angelina  Shaw (Captain)
  • Tipper Wallops – Emory Flynt (Captain)
  • LeeLee Ridenour – Jordyn Harms
  • Numa Gaires – Nell Chavanu
  • The Miner Men 
  • Marcus Elliot – Brody Booth
  • Zadock Bardley – Jack Chavanu
  • Bushrod Connor – Weston Piper
  • Ira Murphy – Peter Dallmann
  • The Church Women 
  • Bittie Connor – Taylor Peters
  • Jessomay Redman – Maelynn Ericson (Captain)
  • Pleasant Roberts – Gracie Long
  • Pearl Arvie – Martha Huskins
  • Bessie Othello – RaeAnn Snider
  • Ardielee Jennings – Maleigha Scamehorn
  • Socialites 
  • Dicy Didamy – Cecilia Asti
  • Clerecy Ann Griffith – Emma Chapman
  • Starretta Reagan – Skylar Huber
  • Children
  • Temperance Ann –  Alexis Davis (Captain)
  • Corda Beck – Jainey Rinehart-Carroll
  • Zessie Barton – Maggie McCarthy
  • Algeria Dowdle – Melissa Eckhart (Captain)
  • Murcipa Watson – Hannah Doremus
  • Teasing Boys  
  • Theo Bradley – Gavin Fowler
  • Simans Mathis – Isaiah Kreifels
  • Law Enforcement
  • Sheriff Emer Bradley – Carter Heath
  • Deputy Arbasure Mack – Greysen Algaier
  • Deputy Ches McCarthy – Brody Mattox
  • Deputy Eugene Sikes – Rory Huber
  • “Not A Witch” Girls 
  • Larkin Raffa – Carlye Philipp (Captain)
  • Alva Kile- Emily Otoupal
  • The Lufy Town Ensemble 
  • Macel Pitner – Jaida Scamehorn
  • Ogee Yancy – Rea Kageyama
  • Statira Yandle – Varian Stearns
  • Bernelle Veal – Kaylee White
  • Nerva Preval – Ella Algaier
  • Lear Robi – Clover Cruz
  • Erie Vinci – Gladis Rodriguez
  • Dola Nell – Allison Holmes
  • Capitola Doiladee – Azariah Rochard
  • Luann Wlas- Peyton Miller
  • Trula Odell – Annah Perdue
  • Rozella Bute – Hannah Rutten
  • Nobel Killon – Alexis Putnam
  • Bluegrass Band Ensemble 
  • Boe Fraser – Captain
  • Madi Miller  – Captain
  • Claire Uhler
  • Emma Uhler
  • Emily Otoupal
  • Allison Holmes
  • Peyton Miller
  • Xavier Paris
  • Jack Chavanu
  • Gage Stahr
  • Crew
  • Allie Colburn – Stage Manager
  • Kadin Tesar – Captain
  • Chris Trejo – Captain
  • Ellie Gartner
  • Makenna Dungy
  • Bethany Lingo
  • Imerald Leonard
  • Zoey Eckert
  • Carson Buller
  • Kerrigan Cool
  • Madelyn Nielsen
  • Jasmine Noble
  • Angellie Ibarra
  • Ryan Coerhoorn
  • Rubi Trejo
  • Jackson Heath
  • Mia Villarreal
  • Riley Snider
  • Maky Jimenez
  • Lights and Sound 
  • Sebastian Rodriguez – Captain
  • Ike Colburn – Captain
  • Savannah Johnson
  • Kailynn Wright
  • Xavier Paris
  • Luke Holthe
  • Kai Epp
  • Noah McVicker
  • Zoey Hindall
  • Marco Iniguez
  • Lyle Eschenweck
  • Mathew Steffen
  • Mishaela Lute
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Sophia Becker – Captain
  • Yaneisi Gallegos – Captain
  • Bee Wiedeman
  • Cecilia Asti
  • Lily Kowalski
  • Emory Flynt
  • Maleigha Scamehorn
  • Lizzy Alberts
  • Jordyn Harms
  • Maelynn Ericson
  • Gracie Long
  • Hadley Eckert
  • Hanna Rutten
  • Lexi Putnam
  • Clara Booth
  • Jaeda Vice
  • Giselle Argueta
  • Clover Cruz
  • Ruby Goff
  • Maky Jimenez
  • Ashley Adame Acosta
  • Promotions 
  • Alexis Davis – Captain
  • Melissa Eckhart – Captain
  • Riley Philipp
  • Raima Kreifels
  • Hannah Doremus
  • Props
  • Kelsey Haack – Captain
  • Hadley Eckert
  • Izzy Kline
  • Angellie Ibarra
  • Mia Villarreal
  • Riley Snider
  • Giselle Argueta
  • Myrah Gaspar
  • Payton Crowdell

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