Smoke on the Mountain

Click on the photo to view the production’s photo album.

A Joyous Celebration of Life, With Music

When members of the Sanders family played a preview of their musical repertoire at the Westmoreland Players in May, someone asked if they had driven all the way from North Carolina just to play a couple of songs. Well, they’re not from North Carolina, and they’re not even a family. They are local actors, musicians, and singers—part of the cast of “Smoke on the Mountain,” a play Alan Bailey, Mike Craver, Mark Hardwick, and Connie Ray at the Westmoreland Players Theatre in Callao, with performances from August 3 through 18, 2019.

“I retired a year ago as Assistant Inspector General for the US Department of Justice,” said Dan Beckhard, who plays Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe, whose congregation experiences a radical shift when the Sanders family appears in his church. “I love being retired,” Beckhard adds, “not least because now I have the time to indulge my great love of stage acting.”

Rachel Beard moved to Montross from St.Louis last October. She play June Sanders, and even though she had ample acting experience in that city, she will fondly remember being part of “Smoke on the Mountain” because it was during the show’s production that she became a newlywed. “I am very excited to have found such a wonderful group to work with,” she said.

Other cast members include Rick Cox and Doug Fleet, “who were part of the 1999 Players production of ‘Smoke on the Mountain,’” said director Nancy Royall, “and have returned to do the show again after long absences from our stage.”

Laurie Breakwell, who joined the group earlier this season in “And Then There Were None,” plays Vera Sanders. Andrew Magruder and Gabby Dockins (both former participants of the Missoula Children’s Theatre program) are new, young talents on the Players stage, joined by veteran actors and long-time volunteers Bev Mangan and Sandy Burroughs.

As Music Director, Walt Mallorie worked with the actors and musicians to perfect the many songs performed during the show, including “I’ll Fly Away” and “Smoke on the Mountain.” A recent retiree from the Northumberland School District, where he was band and marching-band director, Mallorie plays drums in several local bands of various musical genres. “I’m also the percussion section leader of the Northern Neck Orchestra,” he said, “and the President of the Kilmarnock and District Bagpipe Band.”

This is a play with music in its veins.

Smoke on the Mountain

By Alan Bailey, Mike Craver, Mark Hardwick, and Connie Ray

August 3 to 18, 2019

At a country church in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains, the young minister has enlisted the Sanders Family to perform in front of the congregation. Between songs, each family member tells a story about an important event in their life. They may seem a perfect and inspiring family, but each Sander provides enough humanity by revealing their weaknesses and allowing us to share in their triumphs. Heartfelt gospel songs and down-to-earth characters propel Smoke on the Mountain to a joyous celebration of life.


The Sanders Family Singers
Burl — Rick Cox
Vera — Laurie Breakwell
Stanley — Doug Fleet
June — Rachel Beard
Dennis — Andrew Magruder
Denise — Gabby Dockins
Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe — Dan Beckhard
Miss Maude — Bev Mangan
Miss Myrtle — Sandy Burroughs


Producer/Director — Nancy Royall
Music Director — Walt Mallorie
Assistant Music Director — Laurie Breakwell
Stage Manager — Joanne Cox
Assistant Stage Manager — Linda Stough
Set Designer — Nancy Royall
Set/Prop Construction — Dick Allen, Nancy Royall, Dick Royall, Skip Tilley
Set Installation — The Pickleball Crew: Matt Evans, Gregg Holmes, George Previs, Git Oesterle, Dan Beckhard, Ed Glading, Dick Royall
Painting — Marianne Ashurst, Laurel Corner, Marcia Fairman, Julie Hendrickson, Gregg Holmes, Janice Stewart-Woolley
Sound Design — Mike Snider
Light Design — Mike Snider
Tech Crew — Richard Banker, Janice Coates, Jen Magruder, Patti Rowley
Costumes — Sandy Burroughs
Choreography — Marcia Peters
Program — Stephanie Snider
Lobby Decoration — Virginia Casey, Frances Harvey
Publicity — Alex Eguigren
Mailing Crew — Bev Mangan, Virginia Casey
Box Office — Bev Mangan, Marcia Fairman, Nellie Landrum, Michelle Stotz
Hospitality — Bev Mangan
Gala — Marcia Peters, John Pittman, Ann Hergenreder, Bev Mangan, Virginia Casey, The Henderson Church volunteers,
Pat Frasher, Doreen Villalpando, Theresa Hollinger, Lucas Wigfield

– – –

The Westmoreland Players is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

“Smoke on the Mountain” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.


Comments are closed.