Source: Good Book Films – Kathy Krantz Stewart
Dated: February 28, 2013
Appalachian Romeo/Juliet Script Ready for Production: SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER, written by award-winning screenwriter, Kathy Krantz Stewart, the script is based on E. Reid Gilbert’s poignant book, Shall We Gather at the River
“This Romeo/Juliet story set in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia in the 1870s depicts a life and time largely forgotten now. Jimmie Sue, a white farm boy, and Madeleen, a colored sharecropper girl, although mutually attracted to each other, must deal with much greater embedded racial obstacles than belonging to diverse family clans, such as the Capulets and Montagues of Shakespeare. Jimmie Sue isn’t interested in a sheet of paper to certify their potential relationship, but Madeleen would have no part of an arrangement not ‘blessed of the Lord.’
“ Their shared experiences in the fields, the churches, the swimming/baptizing creek give them many contact opportunities, which are duly celebrated yet constantly thwarted, particularly in consideration of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s law prohibiting miscegenation.
“ Although the focus of the story is on these two teenagers, the story gives some insight into the post-civil war racial relationships in the mountains . . . quite different from the more normally accepted tales of the plantations, such as Tara in Gone With the Wind.
The author, E. Reid Gilbert, grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, many years after these star-crossed lovers, but farming (without power equipment) in the same manner described in their story. After leaving the farm, he attended several colleges, earning five academic degrees (including a PhD in Asian Theatre) and pursued various careers (Methodist and Unitarian ministries, college professorship, theatre director and actor, playwright and professional mime). While on Fulbright assignments in India and Thailand, he gained perspective on his own cultural roots and has written theatre scripts, poems, memoirs and a previous book, TRICKSTER JACK, exploring and celebrating those Appalachian mores and values.
For interested investors and producers of this book-to-screen film, the contact information is below and at their websites.
E. Reid Gilbert
5937 N Placita Del Baron
Tucson, AZ 85718
Kathy Krantz Stewart