COOKEVILLE – WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS, in partnership with the Cumberland County Playhouse, will premiere Tennessee Backroads on the PBS WORLD Channel Stories from the Stage Monday, May 20 at 8:30 p.m. It will also air on WCTE’s main Channel 22 on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Stories from the Stage is a great storytelling event. The first episode, titled Tennessee Backroads,will be featuring monologues from Cindy Putman, a local educator from Putnam County; Jim Everitt, a local barber from Cumberland County and Ruth Phipps, formerly of Cookeville and now from Maryville, who are each representatives of our rural region.
A second episode, titled Rocky Top Remembers, will premiere in late June. Details of that episode will be announced at a later date.
WORLD Channel invited WCTE to be the pilot station for Stories from the Stagelast year after seeing success with the original program, which was filmed at PBS flagship station WGBH Boston. At that time WCTE, with the help of Bryce McDonald of the Cumberland County Playhouse, set three dates for auditions around the region. More than 15 storytellers tried out for a chance to make the national stage. A total of eight people made the cut and were filmed at the Cumberland County Playhouse. We were delighted to have Demetria Kalodimos to come to Crossville to host the event and film in front of a live audience as the “Tellers” told their stories.
“I am so excited to see WCTE in association with the Cumberland County Playhouse to partner with WGBH Boston and WORLD and be the first station to pilot this exciting series,” said Becky Magura, President and CEO of WCTE. “It gives our rural communities a voice on this amazing national platform.”
WCTE has served the Upper Cumberland for more than 40 years as the regions premier storyteller and is the only television station in a 75-mile radius of Cookeville, making it a strategic partner in education, health services, government, arts and music. WCTE is a 501(c) 3 and is owned and operated by the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council. WCTE is one of only 350 PBS member stations nationwide.