"Revelations," a live theatrical presentation written and produced by folklorist Carrie Nobel Kline, headlines the 10th Annual Gay in Appalachia event, presented by the LGBT Caucus at Virginia Tech. 

The annual event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. at The Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg.

During this theatrical reading, Kline will weave a dozen oral histories into an artistic tapestry portraying the resiliency of the LGBT Appalachian community. 

The owner of Talking Across the Lines LLC, a folk-life documentation and audio production company, Kline “saw common threads in people's stories. Most talked about being raised to be stubborn and independent as well as deeply religious and attached to the land. The characters, whose names have been changed, talk to each other and the audience.”

The LGBT Caucus at Virginia Tech brought this performance to campus eight years ago, and it played to a standing-room-only crowd; an intense and empowering discussion followed. With each performance, audience members gain a fresh perspective on concepts of gender from people who have broadened their own views through complicated intellectual and spiritual journeys.

Kline will devote six days in creative residency at Virginia Tech. 

Auditions will be held on Monday, Oct. 20, for students, faculty, staff, and community members at 7 p.m. in the auditorium in the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson-Brown. The production includes a variety of characters from their 20s to their 70s.

Carrie and Michael Kline, who have six CDs recognized for their tight harmonies and traditional Appalachian music, will begin Saturday's event with songs that celebrate the resiliency of the human spirit, the art of neighborliness, and the drive to preserve natural beauty in fast-changing times.

This event dovetails with Virginia Tech’s own oral history project. University Archivist Tamara Kennelly is teaming with David Cline, assistant professor of history, who is training graduate and undergraduate students this semester to conduct and collect oral histories “to document the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer life in the 20th century American South and specifically at Virginia Tech.”

Many oral histories will be collected during the second annual Ex Lapide Fall Reunion to be held Oct. 24 through 26 on campus.

The Klines will discuss their oral history projects with several classes while on campus and talk with the university community about their work in the Black Cultural Center on Friday, Oct. 24, at noon.

“Over the last 10 years, the Gay in Appalachia series has focused on building an inclusive community by exploring various issues through the arts," said Jean Elliott, founder of the series and the university’s 2014 Presidential Principles of Community award winner. “We have showcased filmmakers, theatre readings, and best-selling authors, with discussions centered on themes of religion, resiliency, and election-year politics.”

The Gay in Appalachia celebration has sponsors across the university, including the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Diversity Committee, Center for the Arts, Department of Human Resources, Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Students Advocacy Team, Multicultural Programs and Services, the Graduate School, and the Women’s Center. This event has also received funding from the Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series grant.

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