COMING HOME FOR SUPPERTIME: BHS to host reunion for former folklife play cast members

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019

On December 14, 1819, statehood was granted to Alabama. For nearly three years now, Alabama has celebrated its bicentennial year with stories of its people in 2017, its places in 2018 and its events in 2019.

For those three years and 14 more, the Brundidge Historical Society has been sharing the stories of the rural South during the Great Depression with its original folk life play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” at the We Piddle Around Theater in downtown Brundidge.

More than 23,000 people have come to hear those stories of Hard Times and those who lived them. The stories are not told by a cast of actors, rather by people from the community — a banker, a beauty shop operator, a teacher, a mailman, a peanut farmer, a preacher, a secretary, a grocer, a truck driver, an octogenarian and a kindergarten kid.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Lawrence Bowden, BHS president and charter cast member, just celebrated his birthday and, at age 91, is the oldest participating cast member. He joins a list of more than 250 local people who have been a part of Alabama’s Official Folk Life Play.

“In Alabama, we have a lot to celebrate and to honor,” Bowden said. “Those who lived during that Great Depression and endured and survived its hardships are to be honored. Those years were, as we say in the play, ‘were hard on all of them’ but they pulled together and made it through. It has been our hope that, in telling their stories, we honor them and their sacrifices.”

Bowden said Alabama’s bicentennial celebration is an opportune time to bring together those who, by participating in the folk life play, have shared a part of history.

“For some time now, members of the BHS have been talking about hosting a reunion for those who have been a part of ‘Come Home,’ over the 17 years –the cast, crew, musicians, hostesses and artists,” Bowden said. “And, what better time than our bicentennial year.”

What will be especially interesting, he said, is that, given the years, some of the cast members won’t know each other.
“Some of the children are now adults with children of their own,” Bowden said. “And, some of us have a lot of gray hair or no hair at all. But the one thing we have in common is that we have all been a part of something that was special and meaningful to us as individuals, to our town and, hopefully, to all who came home to the We Piddle Around Theater.”

Bowden said the “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” reunion will be at 6 p.m. Friday, August 23, at Lake Simmie in Brundidge.

“We’ll have a fun and entertaining event planned that includes ‘supper,’ music, photos, stories and a few extras,” he said. “But most of all, we want to thank everyone who has been a part of something that is bigger than all of us.
“We’ll get the word out through the local media, churches and various businesses and by word of mouth,” Bowden said. “As time gets closer, we’ll ask those who plan to attend to call 808-4237 or contact any member of the BHS.”