One of my favorite things is theater. I’ve been to Broadway, and I’ve been to school plays, and everything in between. Recently I had the opportunity for Mother’s Day to visit the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee, which is about 130 miles east of Nashville. What a gem of a place! While I have been to Crossville, and Cumberland County, many times dating back over decades, 2023 marked my first visit to the Cumberland County Playhouse in this beautiful, rural county of 62,000 residents.
If you’re in Tennessee and have never been to Crossville – or Cumberland County -there is plenty to do and an abundance of beautiful scenery to take in. Crossville is called the “Golf Capital of Tennessee” (a half a million rounds of golf were played last year in Crossville, Tennessee), with plentiful views of the beautiful Cumberland Plateau. But of course, this article is about the charming Cumberland County Playhouse, which was founded in 1963 and until recently, operated by two generations and is still going strong. Cumberland County Playhouse combines a resident professional company along with a fulltime staff touting more than 100 professionals, guest artists, and large volunteer corps. These talented individuals come from across the country and from a dozen Tennessee counties.
Going to see the Agatha Christie “And then There Were None” production was a thoughtful gift I received for Mother’s Day and what a gift it was. I love Agatha Christie and have always loved a good mystery! Dating back to when it was first published in the United States in 1940, Christie’s story is timeless and a classic. The book is the world’s best-selling mystery with over 100 million copies sold is one of the best-selling books of all time, being listed as the sixth best-selling title (any language, including reference works). If you aren’t familiar with the story, the promo material from the playhouse sums it up well: “Ten strangers are summoned to a remote island. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. As the weather turns and the group is cut off from the mainland, the bloodbath begins and one by one they are brutally murdered in accordance with the lines of a sinister nursery rhyme.” Sound intriguing? It held my interest as well as that of many in the audience based on casual conversations I heard during the intermission and the hearty applause at the end of the show. The concessions offered typical concession fare of popcorn, candies, and beverages, and there was also a bar for those who wanted something a little more.
It was clear to see the talent and effort put into the productions offered at Cumberland County Playhouse. If you are as intrigued by the playhouse as I am and wanting to learn more, here’s a short 7-minute video that tells you more, and of course there are additional details on the website. The history of how this playhouse was established is a sweet story and gives a glimpse into beautiful Cumberland County as well.
What a wonderful Mother’s Day it was spending it with the family watching an amazing theater production in a unique and memorable theater. Don’t wait until a special occasion, though, any day is a great day to travel to Crossville, Tennessee and to see a show at Cumberland County Playhouse. May you be as charmed as I was!
City Data. www.citydata.com
Cumberland County Government. https://cumberlandcountytn.gov/
Cumberland County Playhouse. https://ccplayhouse.com/