CSU Theatre to Present Oral History of Founding of Westville

COLUMBUS, Ga. - A Columbus State University theatre ensemble will reveal the story behind the founding of the living history museum at Westville, Ga., in a pair of oral history performances on Saturday, Oct. 25.

“Westville: Collected Lives in History” will be performed at 2 p.m. on-site at Westville Village, about 38 miles south of Columbus, followed by a 7:30 p.m. show at CSU’s International House at University Avenue and Clearview Circle.

Directed by Associate Professor Becky Becker, a student cast will present personal and behind-the-scenes stories from the Stewart County volunteers who, during the 1960s, developed the1850-circa village using Georgia historian John Word West’s collection of buildings and artifacts and guided by Columbus museum curator Joseph Mahan.

Westville opened permanently for daily visitors in 1970, with the present setting in place by 1975. The village features furnished pre-Civil War buildings including homes, stores, workshops, churches, a courthouse and school, while townspeople, in character, mingle with visitors and discuss life in that period.

Commissioned by the Westville Board of Trustees,the CSU performances also will relate the founders’ opinions about the village’s societal niche in the future.

Student cast members Kimberly Belflower, Jon Ingram, Kori Jackson, Barrett Scroggs, Krystine Summers and Michael Whitten interviewed Westville’s surviving founders last spring and developed their findings into dialogues and monologues.

Becker turned those dialogues and monologues into a script and production, in which the student actors portray Westville founders. The real-life subjects also are simultaneously depicted in a complementary slide show.

The production crew is rounded out by student stage managers Tori Ames and Gwendolyn Labod.

Both Oct. 25 performances are free, although there is a gate fee, ranging from $4-10, for entrance to Westville.

For more information, call 706-507-8403.