February 6, 1929


Illini Theatre


This play speaks poignantly on the issues of war and duty to one’s country while also giving a glimpse into a time and place rarely seen. The time is 1917, and the place is the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Although World War I has been raging for years at this point, the denizens of this remote area have gone on about their own business unaware of the fighting in Europe and actually believe that France may only be about forty miles away from Asheville. The action of the play takes place in the Widow Cagle’s cabin. Her husband has been killed for moonshining some years ago. She now distrusts the government and its laws. All of this changes when Rufe, her son registers and is drafted. On the day Rufe is to leave for the army, he marries Emmy Todd, his pretty neighbor. Emmy was also asked for her hand in marriage from the Sheriff, Jim Weeks, but she refuses so that she can marry Rufe. In the final act, which takes place five months later, a deserter has been traced to the Cagle Cabin. Sheriff Weeks thinks it is Rufe. It is instead a stranger who the Widow defiantly hides from his pursures. Events transpire, excitingly, and the Widow realizes what is more important, her pride or her humanity. After a highly emotional scene, she concludes by saying,”it’s lovin’ them all that counts.”

Author: Lula Vollme

Historian’s Corner

The program for “Sun-Up” was made from paper that was made from Cornstalks grown in the Corn Belt.