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An Evening With The Bell Witch

I wouldn’t have expected to be writing a review of a high school dramatic production, that’s for sure. Like, not ever. I’ve seen some high school shows before. The same as with everybody else who goes to see one, it was because I knew somebody in the cast and I wanted to show my support. And of the handful I’ve seen, the best were merely passable. Most were bad. Like, really, really bad. And unlike with bad movies, which can still be a lot of fun to watch, there’s nothing good about bad Theatre. It’s just an exercise in tedium.

I was invited to go see THE BELL WITCH, an original work by Dwayne Craft, the Drama teacher at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama, performed by the Bob Jones Drama class. I didn’t know at the time I accepted the invitation that this show and these kids had already won the state finals at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) and that it and they were going to be competing on the national level, representing the State of Alabama. In other words, I didn’t know that they were *good.* The play was fantastic, the performers were fantastic, and the script by Mr. Craft was fantastic. It was a work of fiction rather than a fictionalized examination of the Bell Witch case of Tennessee, set at the point 107 years after the original haunting, when the Bell Witch was supposed to make her return, and focusing on the descendant of the Bell family who has returned to the area hoping to end the curse once and for all, only to lead to its guaranteed continuance. The costumes by my friend Laura Luke (who was the one who invited me to the show) were gorgeous, and the set, especially the part set in the Bell Witch cave, stunning. Such a pleasant, unexpected surprise.

And this all has motivated me to reminisce about my own visit to the Bell homestead and the infamous Bell Witch cave. Keep following this site for more on that subject.

TheCheezman • February 26, 2019

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