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Original work “Promises” presented Oct. 2-6

BOONE—The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Promises,” an original work by theatre faculty member Joel Williams and directed by Derek Davidson. The play will be presented in the state-of-the-art Valborg Theatre on Oct. 2 – 5 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.

View larger imageSenior theatre majors Paige Borden and Joseph Watson play the pivotal roles of Rachael and Quill in the new play “Promises” by Boone playwright Joel Williams. The production makes its debut Oct. 2-6 in Valborg Theatre at Appalachian State University. Photo credit: Natalie CarpenterView larger imageThe characters of Jacob and Rachael, played by Carson Rich and Paige Borden, enjoy a lighter moment. Photo credit: Natalie CarpenterView larger imageIn Joel Williams’ new play “Promises,” the characters of Joseph and Liz are portrayed by students Will Allen and Katrina Guzman. Photo credit: Natalie Carpenter

Ticket prices start at just $8 for students and are $15 for adults. Tickets are available at the Valborg Theatre box office Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by phone at 828-262-3063 or toll-free at 800-841-ARTS (2787) and online at

This play tells the story of 50-year-old Joseph, who sets out on a journey to fulfill a request made by his dying mother and comes to understand the truth of his own personal history. Letters and artifacts, which once belonged to his parents, prompt flashbacks that reveal complex relationships and secrets hidden from Joseph for most of his life. The play deals with love, loss, betrayal, reconciliation and promises, both kept and broken.

“Promises” is set against the historical backdrop of the years surrounding the wartime construction of Fontana Dam in Swain County, N.C. Playwright Williams states that, “The original idea came to me around 2006, when I was researching day trips for my sons in western North Carolina, and stumbled across something called ‘The Road to Nowhere.’”

Although the characters in this play are fiction, their story is inspired by history: the building of the dam, the incorporation of the North Shore into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the ongoing tradition of Decoration Days that require excursions across Fontana Lake into the boundaries of the national park.

The inaugural production of “Promises” is presented in conjunction with North Shore Decoration Day Symposium, featuring educational programs. For more information about the symposium, visit

Williams entered “Promises” into the New Play Festival sponsored by the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART) in 2012. It was chosen as a finalist and selected to have its professional premiere at SART in the summer of 2014 at Mars Hill College. For more information about the production or for a history of “The Road to Nowhere,” go to or

Valborg Theatre is located on the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street. The door faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available in faculty lots after 5 p.m. and in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons after 5:30 p.m. Parking is also available in the Rivers Street Parking Deck and the Howard Street parking area adjacent to the Miles Annas Building.


The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educations for the B.S. degree in teaching theatre arts and the B.A. degrees in dance studies or theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship, and service.