Abingdon (Then and Now)


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Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia

When you arrive at the theatre, for the performance, all you need to do is to give your name to the box office. We will then give you your tickets. Abingdon Drama Club has been providing drama classes for young people for over 30 years. The classes offer young actors from Abingdon and the surrounding area a chance to hone their acting skills in a fun, nurturing environment while meeting other young people from a variety of schools around the area.

Classes meet during term time. Ages Sundays from 2. A fun way to make new friends and start to learn the fundamentals of theatre and performance. Ages Sundays from pm This class focuses on building drama skills including voice, movement, action, objective, subtext and characterisation.

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In-depth study of plays and playwrights supports learning, particularly for those enrolled in GCSE Drama. Students who have done one or more terms at ADC are welcome to join our Performance Class which works towards a full length show each term to be performed at the Unicorn Theatre. As actors we are storytellers. Our job is to engage the audience and the best way to do this is through truthful performance.

Fees are payable in advance each term. There are three terms each year.

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The clubhouse contains our rehearsal space, green room, set workshop and store, costume store and props store. It is also the home of our fantastic Juniors section, which has been providing drama education for young people for over 30 years. Our paper archives contain posters and photos from every show we have ever performed but it is the costumes, props and pieces of scenery which have been used across the years that are a remarkable 'living' history of the club.

Enquiries enquiries abingdon-drama-club. In the middle of April we switched from recording the weekly news on cassette tape to a digitally recorded memory stick. Memory sticks are a more durable medium and allow each news item to be recorded as a separate track as well giving better sound quality. Listeners not having a way to play these memory sticks have been supplied with a free digital player.


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The cost of the changeover to digital recording was met by a grant from the Gannett Foundation, part of the Newsquest newspaper publishing group. Listeners, supporters and local dignitaries celebrated the twenty fifth anniversary of DAWN in Looking to the next twenty five years, the DAWN team are looking for ways to expand the number of listeners and are working out the best way to work with smart devices that allow easy interaction with the digital world for the blind and partially sighted. Background DAWN came into existence due to the foresight and determination of one visionary person, Kim Miller, who was the Rehabilitation Officer for visually-impaired people in Oxfordshire.

The first edition By spring about 24 volunteers had offered their services to DAWN, and a local musician and songwriter had kindly offered to compose a short theme tune in the form of jingles to start and end the tapes. The succeeding decades Looking forward The town of Abingdon arose rapidly along the Great Valley Road. By the late eighteenth century, it was one of the most important commercial and transportation hubs in Southwest Virginia.

From handsome brick dwellings to ordinary county buildings, from mills to grocery stores, from taverns to youth academies — numerous buildings began popping up everywhere, to support the growing community.

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The Overmountain Men were a team of American frontiersmen who gathered together in to fight against the Loyalists. Reenactments and interpretations of their feats are hosted regularly. The grounds encompass nine acres and is the northern trailhead for the three hundred and thirty mile long historic Overmountain Victory Trail.

Valley Street is the home of multiple colonial residences and businesses. The Alexander Findlay House, for instance, is its earliest surviving building. Findlay was a Scottish immigrant who became the first man on record to build a golf course. His one-and-a-half story brick home has been updated with several Colonial Revival additions. Stickley was a blacksmith and wagon builder.

A few doors down, you can visit the Daniel Trigg House — which was built sometime during the early nineteenth century. Trigg was the mayor of Abingdon in and also served briefly as the president of the Exchange Bank of Virginia. Main Street runs parallel to Valley Street.

It too is lined with many surviving colonial-era residences. On East Main Street, the brick, front-gabled dwelling of Judge John James Stuart is especially noticeable because of its unique shotgun architectural style. The Martha Washington Inn was built by General Francis Preston in , as a home for himself, his wife, and their nine children. Preston was an American lawyer and politician, born and raised in Abingdon. The school taught young women a variety of skills, which ranged from bookkeeping to French, from piano to home economics. She originally championed various other progressive causes, but became markedly more conservative as she grew older.

In the early s, the nation was struck with a terrible outbreak of typhoid fever. This, combined with the effects of the Great Depression, forced the Martha Washington College to close for good in The building then opened its doors as the Martha Washington Inn in The facility was also used for a brief period of time as a second home to the actors of the Barter Theater. Prominent thespians, such as Patricia Neal and Ned Beatty, would often go there after a long day on the stage. In fact, it is said that an underground tunnel once connected the inn with the theater.

Today, the Martha Washington Inn retains much of its authentic charm and architectural integrity. In the nineties, it became listed on The Camberley Collection of fine historic properties. Modern additions, though including a fully equipped spa and fitness room , have kept the inn attuned to the times.

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