Coming to the Stage in 2016!

Springer. 2015. 1

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from Georgia. I knew it was a Georgia phone number because of the area code. Although I did not recognize the number, I answered the call anyway. I was sitting in a hospital room at the time, waiting on the birth of a grandson.

Springer. 2015. Sign

 

Paul Pierce, the artistic director of Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia, my hometown, was on the other end of the line. I about fell out when Paul told me he had finished reading “Mother of Rain” and wanted to adapt it for the stage. Seriously. It was one of those out-of-body moments.

Springer. 2015.5. AmandaA few days later, Paul sent me a text. What are you doing February  19th? he asked. Can you come to Columbus? We have this party where we announce the upcoming season and I’d like for you to be here when we tell them we are going to stage “Mother of Rain.”

Springer. 2015. 2 with Dave

I couldn’t tell anyone. Not even season ticket holders David and Jane Wilson, who live in Columbus, but are originally from Oregon (where I now live). I sent Dave & Jane an email. I have to make an unexpected trip to Columbus, would it be okay if I hang out at your place? Dave & Jane didn’t ask any questions. C’mon, they said. So I’ve been here in their lovely lakeside home since Tuesday, trying to not to spoil the surprise that was announced tonight.

Springer. 2015. 3. MOR

“Mother of Rain” will be one of the upcoming plays produced by the Springer Opera House for the 2015-2016 season. In April 2016, Burdy, Maize, Rain and other members of the community of Christian Bend will make their stage appearance!!!

Springer. 2015.4 Stage

How thrilling to bring a novel I wrote about the power of community to the stage of the community that helped raise me. That’s what I told the crowd. Or at least I think that’s what I told them. That’s what I intended to tell them when Paul called me up on stage.

Art begating art.

That is when we are at our best, the best God created us to be, when we are creating something good ,something beautiful, something that makes others think, or marvel, or create themselves.

 

Springer. 2015. Raymond

But before I went on stage, I had the opportunity to spend time with Raymond Campbell. Those of you who read the book on Judge Ruge McCombs – the first book I ever wrote (Benched) – will remember Raymond as Judge’s court clerk. Raymond was a huge help to me then. So I was delighted to run into him after all these years. He took me by the hand and introduced me to everybody and their mama.

What a joy it was to meet Peggy, who works at Columbus State, and Pam, who serves on the Springer board and, like me, is a CHS alumni. And to meet the many people who have supported me over the years by reading the writing I have done for the Ledger-Enquirer or who have bought my books.

Columbus is  not the town where my kinfolks live. My kin live mostly in Tennessee, but Columbus is the home where I started kindergarten and where I finished high school. It was while I was at CHS that Marjorie Drury taught me how to construct a sentence and developed within me a love of good literature.

Columbus is home to some of my dearest and oldest friendships. (And now the term oldest is meant in the most literal of ways).

Springer. 2015. Wilsons

Columbus has been home to many writers besides me, of course. Carson McCullers is the best known among us. Her work has made the stages of many theaters around the world. Carson, however, grew up in a different Columbus than I did. Her relationship with her hometown was filled with conflict.

That has not been my experience.

The people in this town believed in me before I believed in myself. They have loved and cared for me. The Ledger-Enquirer published the very first opinion column I ever wrote. Billy Winn, Dusty Nix, Chuck Williams have long cheered me on in this writing field. Great editors all.

I can’t think of anyplace I would rather have “Mother of Rain’ staged than right here among my tribe. I don’t know the people in LA or NYC. The people of Columbus are proud to own me and I love having the opportunity to make them proud of me.

Of course, I am hoping wherever you live that you will call the Springer and order your tickets to “Mother of Rain”. I’d love the opportunity to show you around Rivertown. You can raft the Hooch or zipline across it. You could ride bikes out to Fort Benning, or sit in one of the many fabulous coffee shops downtown. I know all the really wonderful local hangouts. As they say around these parts, y’all come on, you hear?

 

Karen Zacharias is author of “Mother of Rain” and the sequel “Burdy” due out Fall 2015. (Mercer University Press).

 

 

The Springer Opera House is the State Theatre of Georgia and has been a leading Southern cultural institution for the past 141 years. Today, the Springer is one of America’s most vibrant professional theatre companies.

http://www.springeroperahouse.org/plaintext/home/home.aspx

 

Mercer University Press, established in 1979, has published more than 1400 books in the genres of Southern Studies, History, Civil War History, African American Studies, Appalachian Studies, Biography & Memoir, Fiction, Poetry, Religion, Biblical Studies, and Philosophy. Publishing authors from across the United States and abroad, Mercer University Press focuses on topics related to the culture of the South. http://www.mupress.org.

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

17 Comments

Darian G. Burns

about 3 years ago

I could not be more pleased Karen! Congratulations!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Awww...thank you, buddy.

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Lauren J. Walter

about 3 years ago

Couldn't be more excited! Hope to join you in Columbus in April 2016. As my people say, mazel tov!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Lauren: I think we should get together a contingent of LMU workshop alumni for a trip to the theater. Wouldn't that be fun? Thanks for these words. Hope to see you at the show!

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Pam Feagle

about 3 years ago

Karen, I was thrilled to meet you last night at the Springer's season announcement party. That's the Springer for you - always bringing amazing people into our lives. What a wonderful collaboration this is going to be! I must clarify one thing - the friend I mentioned with a similar name was a young girl back around 1978 whose family lived across the road from my family's property out in Harris County. Her mother was Beverly Zacharias, and she wrote for the Columbus Ledger Enquirer. So all those years ago I called you to see if you could be that young Karen. I look forward to reading "Mother of Rain" and watching the play evolve. It's in good hands with Paul Pierce!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Pam: It was great meeting you. Many people around town have asked, still ask, if I am related to Beverly. And I often get asked if I'm related to Ravi, as well. Last night was wonderful and I am so looking forward to working with Paul. The Springer is doing great things and I am honored, delighted to be among this amazing line-up for 2015-2016. I only wish I could be at every show!

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Wanda Robertson

about 3 years ago

How exciting! Congratulations, Karen. :)

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Ellen Tew

about 3 years ago

So proud and excited for you - a play AND a grandchild! When will the production be staged?

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Diane Olson

about 3 years ago

Exciting!!! Congrat

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Janet Christiansen-Cooley

about 3 years ago

Could not be happier for you. Very proud of our now " hometown girl" Maybe a road trip is in the future of some of your local friends!

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Faye

about 3 years ago

How exciting! I'm so proud for you. Maybe it will make its way to the stage in Knoxville, too!

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Shellie

about 3 years ago

MissZ!!! I'm so proud for you, my friend! This is wonderful news. Soak it up and enjoy every single moment. Love!

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Gloria

about 3 years ago

Congratulations! How wonderful! I would love to visit Columbus again!

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Leigh Anne W. Hoover

about 3 years ago

Karen, You are an amazing writer and a wonderful woman. This is such a fabulous tribute to your work. Congratulations, my friend! We're cheering for you in the snowy hills of Tennessee! Love, Leigh Anne

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Thanks you, sweet friend. I am honored and excited.

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Justin

about 3 years ago

Congratulations Karen! This is fantastic!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 3 years ago

Thanks, Justin. I'm thrilled.

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