Annual folk-life play opens for 26th season in Colquitt

Annual folk-life play opens for 26th season in Colquitt County
Annual folk-life play opens for 26th season in Colquitt County
Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 06:35:12-04

COLQUITT, Ga. (WTXL) - The cast and director have been preparing for Swamp Gravy: Fourth and Long, for several months now.

Although this season's edition of the annual play has a strong football theme, you don't have to understand or even enjoy the game to get something special out of the show. 

We came out last week to Cotton Hall to meet some of the cast members and watch the rehearsal. Those who come out, will not be disappointed. 

Each edition of Swamp Gravy tells true stories from this Miller County community. Will Murdock, the Artistic Director for Fourth and Long, originally started acting in Swamp Gravy several years ago. He's enjoyed meeting the individuals he's played, but this year's production is a little more personal for him. 

"I am so excited to see this show come to life. There are lots of stories from people I know. Some of my story is in this play," said Murdock. "I think there's really something in Fourth and Long that is something for everybody." 

It's that "something for everybody" mentality that really brings this play to life each year, with cast members ranging from the young to the young at heart, with varying skills and experience. 

"If you're not a strong singer but you can act a little bit or if you're a stronger dancer of it you're just a stronger dancer or you're just a stronger character, in other words, there's a place for everybody in the show and that's just awesome. That's true community theater," said cast member Alida Ward. 

Ward has been participating in Swamp Gravy for about seven seasons, but admits she was nervous to try out at first. She's been hooked since her first season. 

Swamp Gravy isn't just an annual tradition in the Mural City, it's become a family affair for some. In fact, many cast members are acting alongside their loved ones. 

"My husband's in the show! He's out there! Yes, he's out there and he has been in many of the shows. He's also been in the April Broadway shows with me," said Ward. "We've done Mayhaw Christmas together. We do Swamp Gravy together." 

Ward and her husband aren't the only family in Swamp Gravy, either. But that doesn't mean this play is only for Miller County.

It's such a big deal, that performers come from other states to audition. No matter the age, or experience, each person is giving it their all to make the show great. 

"We've got people pouring their heart and souls into these stories that are of our community. They're people you know. They're your next door neighbor. They're your best friend from high school," said Murdock. "These are stories that people will recognize and they will be able to see themselves in them. I think it's a great time for everybody." 

Swamp Gravy: Fourth and Long runs Fridays and Saturdays during the month of October.