Walking in Sunlight
Tera, Tildy.....Tera Alexander
Ren, Tildy’s mother, waitress, nurse.....Ren Creasy
The Muse.....Austin Derryberry
Justin, John, Bob, Van, Mister.....Justin Dixon
Dominic, Cpt. John, DeFord Bailey, Jim.....Dominic Gillette
Delaney, Dave’s mother, Missus, sister.....Delaney Keith
Alex, Samuel, Archie,Hangdog.....James Alex May
Ontario, Fowler, Tom Davis, Dorris.....Ontario McGregor
Robbie, Dave Macon......Robbie Ramirez
Musical Director......Austin Derryberry
Production Designer.....Virginia Donnell
Production Designer......Darren Levin+
Production Consultant......Gloria Christy
Historian/ Consultant....Michael Doubler
Musical Consultant.....Carol Ponder
Acting Consultant......Robert Keifer
Assistant Designer......Nora Fischer
Projection Designer......Mark Marchan
Hair and Makeup Designer......William Barnes
Assistant Lighting Designer......Mark Marchan
Company Manager......Kyle Garmon
Technical Director.....Nicolas Ryan
Production Manager......Justin Durham Reed
House Manager.....Catherine Burford
Costume Coordinator.....Trisha Clark
Costume Studio Staff.....Nora Fischer, Audrey Reed
Wardrobe Supervisor.....Bill Barnes
Wardrobe Crew.....Students of THEA 3200
Scenic Studio Manager.....Andy Berg
Scenic Studio Staff.....Jay Mullens*, Brianna Smart*, Connor Marmen
Audio Engineer......Jackson Dalton
Master Electrician.....Brian Elliott
Light Board Op.....THEA 3400 Student
Follow Spots.....THEA 3400 Student
Deck Electrician......THEA 3400 Student
Lighting Hang Crew.....Students of THEA 3400
Properties Coordinator.....Andy Berg
Properties Master......Brianna Smart*
Properties Construction......Nora Fischer
Marketing Coordinator.....Megan Castleberry*
Poster Graphics.....Sadie Katie Hampton
Graphics Design......MTSU Creative and Visual Services
*Member of Lambda Gamma Cast of Alpha Psi Omega,
National Theatre Honor Society
+Member of USA829
Tera Alexander (Tera/Tildy) is a senior Theatre major, minoring in Writing. This show has been an experience she’ll always cherish. To the cast and production crew: thank you for being you, for the laughs, and support. To her family and friends: thank you for laughing at my jokes and for endless love. Enjoy the show!
Megan Castleberry (Assistant Stage Manager) is a junior Theatre major at MTSU. This is her first time ASMing a show and has enjoyed the opportunity to work with such a great cast and crew to introduce her the way of Stage Management!
Ren Creasy (Ren/Tildy’s Mother/Waitress/Nurse) is a Theatre major at MTSU and is excited to work on her first new-works production, especially with such a wonderful cast, and director. She has enjoyed writing and working on the script and can’t wait to show off her hard work!
Austin DerryBerry (Music Director/The Muse) is currently a freshman and studying audio production at MTSU. He is an award winning old-time fiddler and banjoist from Middle-Tennessee. In recent years, he has placed first in multiple fiddler's conventions throughout the South, both individually and with his band, Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny. Among others, he currently holds the titles of "Fiddle King" in Georgia and Alabama State Champion in old-time banjo.
Justin Dixon (Justin/John/Bob/Van/Mister/Tildy’s Father) is a Sophomore Theater Major at MTSU. He is very excited to be apart of such an amazing cast and crew, and also thankful for this great opportunity.
Dominic Gillette (Dominic/Cpt.John/DeFord Bailey/Jim), a senior at MTSU, is excited to end his collegiate career with another touring production from MTSU. In 2015 he toured to Ireland and the U.K. with the cast of 'American Tall Tales' which was also under the direction of Jette Halladay. He has numerous credits at MTSU, but he is delighted to share something new and original with the audience and various schools. He would like to thank his family, friends, and the faculty of MTSU Theatre and Dance for putting up with his shenanigans and giving him a shot during his time at the school.
Delaney Keith (Delaney/ Dave’s Mother/ Missus/Sister) is a senior theatre major. Her most recent MTSU credits include Velma in West Side Story, Glory/Rhonda in Almost, Maine. Her other credits include Ophelia in Nashville Repertory Theatre's production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Anya in Rocket Science. She is excited to help tell this story of Uncle Dave Macon's incredible life, and hopes everyone enjoys the show!
James Alex May (Alex/Samuel/Archie/Hangdog) is excited to be onstage for the first time at MTSU. Before this he has worked backstage and as Deck Electrician for many shows at MTSU. He is excited to tour this show and to meet and hopefully inspire many kids on their journey.
Ontario McGregor (Ontario/Fowler/Tom Davis/Dorris) is a sophomore majoring in theatre from Memphis, Tennessee wants to give props to God who gave him this tool of entertaining, his family who support him every step of the way, and a special shout out to the Walking in Sunlight cast (his first cast here at MTSU) for working with his goofiness and thanks to Jette and Austin for allowing him to showcase himself on a brighter stage. Philippians 4:28 Roman 8:28
Christian Potts (Stage Manager) is a Freshman Theatre Major. Potts is so very thankful to have been given this opportunity his first semester here at MTSU. Huge shoutout to Skylar Grieco, APO President and my BIG, for the many opportunities you have already given me throughout this semester and for your constant support! Sit back, relax, and grab yourself a couple of ham biscuits!
Robbie Ramirez (Robbie/Dave Macon) is a sophomore at MTSU. His last role was A-Rab in MTSU’s production of West Side Story. He is excited to bring the story of Dave Macon to life, especially to those who have never heard of him, and is honored to have the opportunity to play Uncle Dave himself.
Mark Marchan (Projection Designer) is a Theatre Major at Middle Tennessee State University and isResident Lighting Designer/Master Electrician for Tucker Theatre Events.
Jackson Dalton (Audio Engineer) is a freshman here at MTSU with an Aerospace concentration, and this is his first show here as well! Jackson has been doing theatre tech since middle school, and looks forward to doing so in college. He'd like to thank his parents, friends, and the MTSU Theatre Department for giving him a chance to prove himself with "Walking in Sunlight".
The Life of Uncle Dave Macon
Uncle Dave Macon was a banjoist and songster from Rutherford County, Tennessee, who was one of the founders of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1920s. A recording artist, he was the first superstar in the history of country music. Dave Macon was born the ninth child of Captain John Macon and Martha Ann Ramsey in October 7, 1870, in the community of Smartt Station in Warren County, Tennessee. His family moved to Nashville in 1884 where his parents ran the Broadway House Hotel. In the 1880’s Nashville was a rich vaudeville and theater scene. Many of the touring performers (jugglers to animal acts) stayed at the Broadway House Hotel and held rehearsal in a space in the basement of the hotel. Young Dave began to work as a clerk at the hotel after school and became fascinated with the old vaudeville style and spirit of the performers. He would watch with great attention as they rehearsed their music and songs, their jokes, their slapstick tricks, and their comedy lines. It was an age when the showmanship of a performer could make or break their act.
In 1885 a circus ran by a man named Sam McFlinn featured the comedy and banjo playing of Joel Davidson who was "noted" as a banjoist and comedian. Davidson became the single most important influence on young Dave. "He proved to be the spirit that touched the mainspring of the talent that inspired Uncle Dave to make his wishes known to his dear old mother and she gave him the money to purchase his first banjo."
In 1886 Macon’s father was killed in a money dispute. A year later his mother decided to move the family to Readyville, TN. Their home sat on the Rutherford and Cannon county line making it an ideal spot for weary travelers to take refuge. Dave stayed in Nashville on his own for a time and later joined his family in Readyville. While there he met Tom Davis, an African American mill worker and musician. Dave was fascinated with Tom’s odd tunings and different picking styles. It was Tom Davis who taught Dave what would become one of his most famous songs, "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy."
In 1899 Macon married Matilda Richardson and together they raised seven sons. To support his family Uncle Dave founded the Macon Mitchell Mule and Wagon Transportation Company. There were four grocery stores on the square of Murfreesboro. Uncle Dave delivered goods to each of them. He would often sing out his list of goods to the entertainment each of the merchants and their customers. Macon kept a banjo under the seat of his wagon and on his way home every day, he would go back down Main Street, pull out the banjo and sing at the top of his voice. The children would come out and watch him and join with their own instruments. Local gentlemen would tip their hats to him. Dave sang about common day things. People liked to hear about local topics, current events, and about people they knew.
After the flood in 1902, Uncle Dave was one of the first to get through to the flooded town of Woodbury. When Dave asked a good friend how he fared, his friend responded, “Dave, all I’ve got is gone.” This inspired one of Dave’s more popular tunes, “All I’ve got is Gone,” which would become his first hit. Soon after his mother died in 1906 and his brothers moved away, Macon began to suffer from emotional problems that would bother him for the rest of his life.
In 1920 when cars and trucks put his freight line out of business, Macon began performing regularly. After his first paid gig in 1922 the manager of Loew’s Birmingham Theater heard Macon perform at a Shriner’s meeting and offered him several hundred dollars a week to perform there. The people of Birmingham loved him.
The very first song he committed to wax was "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy," followed by "Hill Billie Blues." Both were among his most popular pieces; "Hill Billie Blues" was the first song to use the term "hillbilly," which was later applied to the entire genre of music we now call country.