Cherry Orchard Theatre


Outdoor theatre is a tradition in our part of the world. Over the years North Carolina has boasted more outdoor theatre productions than any state in the country, ranging from famous ones like “The Lost Colony” and “Unto These Hills” to lesser known productions that are often of good quality.

Though we are in Virginia, we are only eight miles distant from this “mother” state of outdoor theatre. Inspired by the tradition in North Carolina — and by the 55-mile view of mountains and valleys from our cherry orchard outdoor ampitheatre site — since 1999 we have been offering a wide variety of theater experiences at The Cherry Orchard Theatre. Here we have performed dozens of plays, had numerous concerts and storytelling gatherings, and played host to some of the leading theatrical and musical talent in our region. Over the years many thousands of people have come, bearing lawn chairs and perhaps a picnic supper and a bottle of wine — no restrictions there! — to watch performances and to enjoy the coolness of the Blue Ridge Mountain evening and the spectacular view behind the stage.

Showtime is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Rain or shine, the show must go on — if it’s raining we move to our packhouse, a friendly confine for theatre that smells like the peaches we are selling there during theater season! Tickets are $10 and purchased at the door — reservations are accepted but not required, there is plenty of elbow room. Bring lawn chairs, food, and something to drink — then sit back on the cool grass, and enjoy the show!

Our lineup for the 2019 season features five summer shows at our spectacularly beautiful Cherry Orchard Theatre stage. All shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. No reservations required. For more info, call 276-755-3593 or 276-755-2224. We look forward to seeing you!

Summer 2019 Schedule


Over 20 years at Cherry Orchard Theatre, we’ve often combined local storytelling and poetry with live music, always a winning combination. This year, once again, we offer poetry by local poets like Juliana Caldwell, Karen Johnson and Rose Warshawna, along with live storytelling , and music by local legends Les Puckett, Stu Shenk, and others. If you are a poet or storyteller, you are welcome to tell your stories or read your poems as well. Please join us for what is always a magical evening, watching the sun go down and hearing the owls ask who you are.

August 9,10,11-TO BE ANNOUNCED
Please call 276-755-3593 or email us at

August 16, 17,18 -TO BE ANNOUNCED
Please contact us.


Meet Becky Thunder and Misty Hagwood -a mother-daughter combo from Mount Airy, N.C. who spent many years on the road together, tag-teaming the big rigs that haul what Americans need. This is their story: first it was Misty, going to driving school then driving a tractor-trailer; then it was Becky, falling in love with life on the road during a trip riding shotgun alongside her daughter. Ever wondered what a trucker’s life is really like? Ever seen a woman behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer and wondered what that job is like for her? If so, join us for an evening of great storytelling and pure fun, as mother and daughter give us the real story.

For Becky Thunder-who retired from truck-driving at the tender age of 71! -this is a first appearance at Cherry Orchard Theatre. After what Becky’s done in her lifetime, for her, just another big adventure! For Misty, however, appearing on stage as an actress or storyteller, or even writing and starring in her own original play, is almost Old Hat by now. Over the years, among other things Misty has been seen in “Thunder in the Hills,” the hit play about the Hillsville courthouse tragedy of 1912, and “The Dead Speak,” in which she brought back the dead from their graves. A one-of-a-kind performer and storyteller, will Misty tell her mother what really happened all those years on the road!

August 30, 31 & September 1 – ETERNITY, a New Play

What is eternity? How do we know it? Do we experience it here on Earth, or only in the afterlife – if then? For that matter, what is time, as a human being experiences time? Is time what we commonly think it is? Or is the mystery of time at the heart of the mystery of existence itself? These are some of the questions in this new play by Frank levering, founder of Cherry Orchard Theatre and the author of 22 plays, including ”Thunder in the Hills,” the play about the courthouse shootout in Hillsville, Virginia in 1912 – now seen by over 7,000 people -that has helped a community heal old wounds. Always committed to community healing, Frank says the play is set against the backdrop of the crises we face now. Just as Carroll Countians in 1912 lived in a climate of fear and lawlessness, today many Americans look down the gun barrel of drug addiction, toxic politics, and climate change. Things are not going well, in this our beloved country. Please join us for a fresh and bracing look at what eternity may or may not be – as seen from inside the bubble of the year of our Lord, 2019.

And, finally: As the fall weather comes in, there may well be other Cherry Orchard Theatre and Courthouse Productions shows at the historic courthouse in Hillsville, Virginia. Please call or email us for more information.

Date: TBA – Courthouse Productions and Cherry Orchard Theatre present a new play about the courthouse tragedy in Hillsville, to be performed in the spring of 2020 at the historic old courthouse. For updates, please email us in the winter of 2019 at


Admission is only ten dollars. Bring a lawn chair and anything you would like to eat or drink.

For more information starting in July-, and any questions you may have, please call 276-755-3593. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can call the packhouse number — 276-755-3593 — and speak with Frank Levering.You can also often speak with Frank at 276-755-4722 (cell phone reception permitting), or email him at

We’ll see you on the mountain!

— Frank Levering

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