Kettle Bottom Act 1

“Explosion at Winco No. 9” is one of the poems performed in Kettle Bottom Act 1. Here, Beverly Slagle portrays Delsey Salyer.

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts Summer Arts Series merges art with West Virginia history this week as it kicks off with Kettle Bottom Act 1.

A Masquers Town & Gown production, created in partnership with the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, Kettle Bottom Act 1 airs on June 3 while Kettle Bottom Act 2 airs on June 10 on the streaming platform Remo. Show times are 7:30 p.m. each date and tickets are $20 for both acts. Tickets can be purchased at tvuw.us/tickets.

Proceeds from both shows help fund the programs of the Tygart Valley United Way, which serves Barbour, Marion, Randolph, Taylor and Tucker counties.

Kettle Bottom is a series of poems, which are written like monologues that tell the stories of West Virginians who lived in a coal camp in the 1920s.

“You will hear from miners who struggle to support their families, wives who fear their husbands won’t return from their shift, students and teachers who learn difficult lessons, and immigrants who struggle to make sense of their new environment,” said Francene Kirk, director of the folklife center.

Set during one of the Mountain State’s most trying times — the coal mine wars of 1920–21 — the poems tell the story of how a community responded to a dangerous time.

Other Summer Art Series performances benefit nonprofits as well.

On June 17, the Academy for the Arts Instructor Showcase will benefit HOPE of Marion County. Tickets can be purchased for $10. On June 24, the Academy for the Arts Youth Theatre Company presents All That Jazz – A Night on Broadway to benefit CASA of Marion County. Tickets are $10.

On July 1, Town and Gown: Here We Go Again will benefit Tygart Valley United Way, CASA of Marion County and HOPE of Marion County. Tickets are $10.

Each show in the series will be livestreamed on the online event platform, Remo, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at tvunitedway.org. Season tickets for admission to each performance may also be purchased for $40.

The College of Liberal Arts will continue to offer virtual programming throughout the year, in hopes of transitioning to larger scale in-person concerts and performances as COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions are lifted.

For further information contact Leigh Anne Bolyard, at 304-333-3655 or lbolyard1@fairmontstate.edu. Event details and performance updates will be available at tvunitedway.org and on the Fairmont State Academy for the Arts social media pages.

Reach Eric Cravey at 304-367-2523.

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