Each year, the Fort Watauga amphitheater comes to life with the sights and sounds of the late 18th century on the frontier.
Liberty! is set along the Watauga River on land historically occupied by Cherokee and early indigenous people prior to the arrival of explorers and settlers from the British colonies.
The Watauga Association, formed in 1772, was widely recognized as the first continental government that was “free and independent” of the British Crown. It was designed by leaders to provide for law and order and the right of every free man to vote. Later, the area was annexed by North Carolina and became known as the Washington District, named in honor of General George Washington, who was leading the fight for American Independence.
Sycamore Shoals also served as the gathering place for the Overmountain Men, who were an essential part of a broader militia that defeated Major Patrick Ferguson and his British force at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. That event is considered a major turning point in the American Revolution.
Liberty! tells the stories of these important days in American history as well as demonstrating the life of pioneers and Cherokee. Moreover, it gives faces to the names we see on many of our street signs and other local area designations. We meet John Sevier, who went on to become the first Governor of Tennessee. We are also introduced to John Carter, and his son Landon, both of whom are reflected in the full name of the Carter Mansion, the oldest frame house in the state. It’s managed and preserved by the Park and Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
The Liberty! outdoor drama is presented using professional lighting and sound, a well-maintained amphitheater, as well as cast of nearly 100 local actors in speaking and non- speaking roles.
Liberty! is directed by Melanie Yodkins. Tony Devault is the production manager and Kaitlynn Newcomb is the stage manager. Liberty! runs each weekend in June at the Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton.
The show can be seen Friday and Saturday, June 4-5 and June 11-12 and Thursday, Friday and Saturday June 17-19; 24-26. All performances start at 7:30 p.m. June 17 is Veteran and First Responder’s Night. Veterans or First Responders and a guest will be admitted for free on that night.
General Admission tickets can be purchased online at www.thelibertydrama.com. Any remaining tickets can be purchased at the door on the night of the performance. Admission is $18 for adults, $14 for seniors 60 and over, $8 for students from 6 to 17 years of age and $9 for veterans and first responders. Children 5 and under will be admitted for free, and Friends of Sycamore Shoals Members can buy tickets for $10.
For additional information, please contact Sycamore Shoals State Park at 423.543.5808.