A year-long process of participatory research and interviews will culminate in the first presentation of an original play about Macon’s historic Pleasant Hill neighborhood and the impacts of blight on Saturday, April 23 at The Grand Opera House, with 2:30 and 7:30 PM showtimes. Healing a Haunted House will take audiences on an interactive journey of the neighborhood’s past, present, and future, asking all Macon-Bibb citizens to ponder about the neighborhood’s restoration.
Supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly and with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, co-artists DSTO Moore, Nancy Cleveland, and Julia Rubens co-wrote Healing a Haunted House, primarily based upon interviews and found text from Pleasant Hill residents. Historic Macon Foundation contributed to historical research and advised the co-artists.
The workshop iteration of the play Saturday is just the beginning of Healing a Haunted House’s activity – the work serves to support and shine a spotlight on efforts towards neighborhood restoration by organizations like the Pleasant Hill Neighborhood Organization and the Community Enhancement Authority.
The play features multiple generations of Pleasant Hill history, including characters like famed volunteer Ozzie Bell McKay. The show highlights history behind currently blighted structures, such as Dr. E. E. Green’s home. The co-artists plan future arts-based interventions, like a youth-led temporary mural in an empty, blighted lot. These efforts seek to harness the civic imagination around blight and Pleasant Hill’s bright history to challenge citizens to contribute to solutions.
Both the 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM performances have limited capacity, due to the interactive nature of the performance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and Mercer faculty/staff and can be found at thegrandmacon.com.
Featuring Tanya Arrington, Lakesia Cunningham, Casey Dupree, Marie Jones, Laura Lamoree, Sobe Thomas, and Nathalie Walker.
Key art by DSTO Moore
The Grand Opera House is a vibrant community-assembly resource for all residents of Macon-Bibb County, as well as a draw for cultural tourism that significantly impacts the success of Macon’s downtown and corresponding economic vitality. It is our mission to nurture an appreciation of the arts in all citizens of Central Georgia, especially its youngest citizens, through attracting the presentation of quality productions as well as an immersion into a treasured architectural artifact that reflects 133 years of Macon’s history. And finally, as a performing arts center of Mercer University, the Grand Opera House seeks to champion excellence as the premiere theatrical venue in Central Georgia.