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SAHA Announces Teresa Lee as New Director of Upcoming Season of Outdoor Drama ‘Horn in the West’

By Jesse Wood

March 10, 2014. Southern Appalachian Historical Association, producer of “Horn in the West” and Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum, recently announced that Teresa Lee accepted the director’s role for the outdoor drama’s upcoming season, which happens to be its 63rd consecutive.


Lee is a professor at Appalachian State University, where she joined the Department of Theatre and Dance in 1988. Lee has been involved with SAHA for more than two decades and started the first summer children’s theatre camp at Horn in the ‘90s. She is following in the footsteps of Julie Richardson, who was director of “Horn in the West” from 2008 to 2013.   

Richardson decided not to return for the upcoming season because of a new position, according to SAHA. While SAHA Vice Chair Greg Williams noted that SAHA is “thankful” for Richardson and her past guidance, he noted that SAHA is also excited for the future of “Horn in the West.” 

“We love Julie and thank her for many years of service and wish her will in her new position taken. I know that her heart will always be with us and SAHA is very thankful. She pulled us a long way and will always have a special place at “Horn in the West,” Williams said. “At the same time we are ecstatic to get somebody who has spent her career as professional director and brings a whole new and exciting outlook and potential for this story.” 

For the upcoming season, “Horn in the West” is also tweaking the script. It is using Kermit Hunter’s original 1952 script as a “baseline and springboard” and updating it to appeal to the “aesthetics of a modern audience,” Lee said.

Lee also mentioned that they are cutting out long passages of narration and inserting action and active dialogue as well as making sure the script of the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama highlights Watauga County and Boone more so than previous versions. It will also focus more so on Daniel Boone.

“This town is named after Daniel Boone. He’s a great American hero and iconic figure and we really want to highlight him and his character,” Lee said. 

While some characters such as Governor Tryon, who was replaced to include the Judge Henderson’s version of “Horn in the West,” has been eliminated from the play, other fan favorites still remain such as Jack and Mary, the young couple that falls in love, Widow Howard and Reverend Sims.

Horn in the West starts June 27 and runs through Aug. 16 – excluding Mondays.

While local auditions already took place, Lee just returned from the Southeastern Theatre Conference, where more than 700 out-of-town actors and technicians auditioned for “Horn in the West.” Lee, who was busy calling folks and engaging in the hiring process on Monday afternoon, said she was thrilled to be selected as director of “Horn in the West.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to direct the show. I love the show and am really looking forward to working with a great artistic staff assembled, a wonderful production team and new board members at SAHA,” Lee said, adding that she was also “excited to work with all these eager, young talented people” who auditioned.  

For more information about SAHA or “Horn in the West” or to make contributions, call 828-264-2120 or click to www.horninthewest.com.