On April 8, the Memminger Auditorium will host Barter Theatre’s production of their musical Civil War Voices, which tells the true stories of five individuals, including a pair of separated lovers, a freed slave employed by Mary Todd Lincoln, and a Northern teacher who decides to fight for his country. The show, written by James R. Harris and featuring musical arrangements by Mark Hayes, chronicles the effect that the war had on their lives.
Virginia-based Barter Theatre first staged Civil War Voices in March and they have been touring the show since then. “I have tried to capture the real people, the real songs, and ultimately the real heart of a country divided,” Harris says in a press release. “These are stories you will not find in history books.” Harris started working on the project when he found a diary from his great-great uncle, who wrote about the war.
The play takes an even look at both sides of the historic conflict, and Hayes has taken notable hymns and patriotic songs and given them new arrangements to serve the storytelling of the piece. Audiences can look forward to renditions of “Amazing Grace,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “Dixie.” —Michael Smallwood