Friday, April 20, 2012
What A Privileged and Great Day I Had Last Saturday
April 14, 2012, I attended
The FIRST PRODUCTION OF NANYE’HI IN HARTWELL, GEORGIA
Savannah River Productions presented the World Premiere of the new musical by award winning
songwriter, Becky Hobbs and co-playwright, Nick Sweet, based on the life of Becky's 5th-great
grandmother, Nancy Ward. “NANYEHI” is a two-act musical with 17 songs. There will be six
performances of the initial production Additional information about the musical can be found on the website www.nanyehi.com.
Nanyehi then used her powerful position of War Woman to promote peace between the Cherokee and the white settlers, the British, the French, and other tribes. After years of leading her people, tending to the wounded and caring for the many orphans, she was elevated to the highest position a woman could have, that of “Ghigau,” or “Beloved Woman.” She was given a shawl of white swan feathers, which remained a symbol of her authority the rest of her life. Her second husband was Bryant Ward, a trader in Cherokee country of Irish descent. She became known as “Nancy Ward” to the American settlers. She played one of the most important roles in American history.
The play was wonderfully moving and incredibly powerful with one great song after another. After the play in talking with the cast, one of them mentioned to me they could see from the stage many members of the audience crying. I know I was. The play and Nancy Ward carries the message of how much we need PEACE. It is still so appropriate 250 years later.
Ever since I was a young girl growing up in Bartlesville, OK, I dreamed that one day I could pay tribute to my 5th-great grandmother, Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee. After many years of writing songs, recording albums, and performing all over the world, that day has come! I have written 17 songs, and have co-written the script with Nick Sweet, for a musical based on her life. At long last, Nancy Ward’s voice will be heard!