New York Times Bestselling Author Sharyn McCrumb and Director Andrew Gall explore the story of one of Appalachia’s most (in)famous women, Frankie Silver in an epic adaptation of McCrumb’s bestselling novel.

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Frankie Silver.  Teenage mountain bride.  Devoted mother.  Bitter and jealous wife. Convicted murderer.  Victim of an unjust system.  Misunderstood.  The stuff of nightmares.   


In the sweeping world-premiere of The Ballad of Frankie Silver, which is based on the critically acclaimed novel by Sharyn McCrumb, Frankie Silver is all of the above.  The production which features a cast of thirty to bring Andrew Gall’s epic adaptation of McCrumb’s novel to the stage at Burnsville’s Parkway Playhouse.  The production runs June 4 through 18.  The production comes with significant buzz and high levels of pre-sales due to its subject, and the direct collaboration between author McCrumb, and Gall.  

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Photos by Rob Storrs. Copyright 2014 Rob Storrs.

In 1998, New York Times Bestselling Novelist, Sharyn McCrumb put Frances Stewart Silver into the national spotlight with her novel The Ballad of Frankie Silver.  It was not the first time that Frances “Frankie” Silver had been the subject of public discussion.  She has been the subject of public scrutiny since her 1831 arrest for the murder of her husband Charles Silver; who was killed with an ax and then dismembered and burnt.  His remains were found in and around their small cabin, deep in the mountains of what is now Mitchell County.  The murder of Charles Silver and the guilt of Frankie Silver has been the subject of headlines, songs, poems, documentaries, murders, historical research, and folklore since the scandal first made news in Morganton in 1831.  


In McCrumb’s novel, a part of her ongoing Ballad series of novels set in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee,  the Silver case is seen through the eyes of a world-weary Sheriff, named Spencer Arrowood, in the late 20th Century.  Arrowood, a recurring character in McCrumb’s Ballad novels, is plagued with doubts about the guilt of a man he helped put on death row as a young deputy.   Arrowood discovers parallels between his current doubts and the historic controversy over the case of Frankie Silver and the details of both cases are harrowingly revisited.  As Arrowood digs deeper into the past, the entire story of Frankie and Charlie Silver’s tortured and tragic tale vividly unfolds in a series of  jarring nightmares, flashbacks to the 1830’s, and a heart-stopping visit to the site of the murder itself.  

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Performances on Friday and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3:00pm.  Tickets to performances are now on sale.  Prices range from $10 to $20 with discounts available to groups, students, senior citizens, and active military.  Advance reservations are strongly recommended.  Tickets can be purchased  online at www.parkwayplayhouse or by calling the Parkway Playhouse Box Office at 828-682-4285.  


There will be an opening night post-show discussion, celebration,  and book-signing with McCrumb, who is a New York Times Bestselling Author on Saturday following the June 4 performance.   There will be a post show discussion with members of the cast following the Sunday Matinees on  June 5 and June 13.

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In addition to her appearances at Parkway Playhouse, McCrumb will also hold a book-signing at the Toe River Arts Council’s Arts Resource Center,  located at 269 Oak Avenue in Spruce Pine. (More information about Sharyn McCrumb can be found on her website,

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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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