Sergeant York: The Play Success!

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Special VIP event hosted by the Cumberland County Playhouse for the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation on Tuesday, June 25th was a huge success!

Playing to a packed house, the Crossing Caney band delighted fans with their lively bluegrass numbers while patrons bid it out in the silent auction.  A fun, memorable night was had by all who attended this wonderful event!  A special guest appearance was made by the Tennessee American Legion Immediate Past Commander, Stephen Weismann.  He presented retired Colonel Gerald York with a Resolution in support of the Sgt. York Center for Peace and Valor.

The audience joined in for an inspiring sing along of God Bless America in honor of the late George Edward Buxton York, son of Sgt. York and Ms. Gracie.

Lisa Soland’s Sgt. York, The Play was a smashing success with Greg Helton performing one of his most moving enactments since the plays opening.

The Play is set on the front steps of Sgt. York’s homeplace in Pall Mall.  So realistic were the accents, portrayals and acting the audience truly felt like they had been transported back to the 1940’s.  “Sgt. York” reflected on WWI, his life, his faith and his love for Fentress County, the United States of America and his passion for education and opportunity for all.  The entire audience leapt to their feet upon completion of Greg’s rousing performance. 

Sgt. York’s two surviving children, Andrew Jackson York and Betsy Ross York Lowrey were on hand to meet and greet attendees and answer questions about their dad’s life and legacy.

After the play concluded the entire audience spent over an hour in a question and answer session with the playwright, director, actor and family for some entertaining and thought provoking inquiries.

Chairman of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation and Retired Army Colonel Gerald York said “The evening could not have gone better, this was just a wonderful time to celebrate our history while inspiring hope for our future.  The sense of patriotism and love for our country and our veterans was evident with everyone that attended.  We appreciate Post 5 from Nashville attending, Commander Weismann’s presentation of the Resolution, all of our Veterans and everyone who travelled near and far to be here tonight.”

Debbie York, Executive Director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation said “When Lisa Soland wrote this play, she did such a great job capturing the faith and peace that inspired Sgt. York throughout his life.  It is so good to reflect on our true American heroes in such hectic world that we live in today. Sgt. York dedicated his life to bettering his community, his country and those around him with selfless service.  We are grateful for all of our Sponsors for making this evening possible and for the wonderful generosity and hospitality of the Cumberland County Playhouse.  This was the last official booked show of the Play but we hope that doors will open to keep the message and the play touring for longer. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and for those who helped us sponsor the evening.  What a magical night it has been!”

All of the proceeds from the event will go to the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation and the Sgt. York Center for Peace and Valor.  

Overall, the night was wonderful with a feeling of faith, hope and freedom resounding among the crowd.