Official Press Release
Book Reading at Taylor Books features Youth Actors
On July 13, Taylor Books will host a reading of selections from the Civil War era novel, Lies: Based on True Stories by West Virginia author Courtney Smith. The program will be held from 6 to 7:30 pm at the landmark store on Capitol Street in downtown Charleston and will feature local actors from the Contemporary Youth Arts Company. Community members are invited to stop in to hear as many of the stories as they like. The event is free and open to all. Lies: Based on True Stories is a compilation of the testimony of six surviving witnesses to an incident that occurred in 1863 when Elmhurst, the majestic brick house along the Greenbrier River in Caldwell, was ransacked and burned by Union soldiers. Although the book is historical fiction, it includes information and anecdotes about real people, places, and events. Readers are invited to discover the truth among the lies as they learn about the daily lives of people during the Civil War — including fashion and beauty concerns, recipes and home décor, medical study and treatments, as well as scouting and spying. More information and an excerpt from the book can be found at www.liesthenovel.com.
Six talented youth actors will bring the characters from the book to life. Roza Beller will portray the heroine Caroline Anderson. Caroline is a Cinderella-like character whose husband is missing in action and presumed dead. She struggles not only to overcome the hardships of life during wartime but also to contend with her demanding and self-centered family members. Fiona Sullivan will appear as Orpha Anderson McClung, a frivolous gossip, and Jay Gandee will present the quirky nine year-old Sally Anderson. Lee Armsted and Nik Tidquist will tell the stories of two different Union soldiers: Mr. Armstead will portray Captain James Tobin, a handsome and charming surgeon, while Mr. Tidquist will present Sergeant Ephraim Richter, a battle-hardened spy. The cast will be rounded out by Jakob Spruce as Hartwell Finney, an elderly, free man of color who works as the family’s handyman.
Taylor Books is an independent bookstore, coffee shop, café, and art gallery. Opened by Ann Saville in 1995, Taylor Books has become a must-visit destination. It offers a broad selection of books, wide variety of hard-to- find magazines, and unique collection of cards and gifts. In addition, visitors may enjoy a scone or a cup of coffee in the café, take advantage of free WI-FI, explore local contemporary art and handmade crafts in the Annex Gallery, or feed their creative sides by taking a class in the Annex Studios. The Contemporary Youth Arts Company (CYAC) was originally founded in 1995 by Dan and Penny Kehde and a group of artistic young people to provide teenagers in the greater Charleston area hands-on access to the performing arts in a drug free environment. Composer Mark Scarpelli joined the organization soon thereafter, composing original scores and becoming acting music director. Since its inception, CYAC has produced over 500 main stage performances as well as toured its social action plays to over 50,000 students and community members across the state. Refreshments will be served after the presentation on the 13th. Ms. Smith will sign purchased books and answer questions. For more information, please contact Taylor Books at 304-342- 1461