Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, will serve as honorary chairpersons for a special Washington DC performance of Jo Carson's Swamp Gravy, Nov. 22. Held at the Kennedy Center Atrium at 7 PM, the performance is part of the First Annual Reddig Endowment Fund Gala to benefit the National Partners in Education.
Swamp Gravy tells stories and anecdotes of life in the small community of Colquitt, Georgia. Each year the content changes, adding and changing stories -- which are all true, even when accounts of an event differ. Songs and dances tie the whole production together. According to a story about the play in American Theatre magazine, Swamp Gravy began as a vague plan among women in the Colquitt Arts Council to stimulate economic development. Director Owen Geer was after "a large scale, oral-history based play that could animate a local culture."
The Georgia General Assembly declared Swamp Gravy the official folk life play in 1994, and the show received 1994 and 1995 Cultural Olympiad Regional Designation Awards For The Arts,
And what exactly IS "Swamp Gravy?" "Fry some fish golden brown. Pour off the grease, but leave some of the drippin's," goes the recipe. "Add onions, potations and whatever you have on hand to throw in."
-- By David Lefkowitz