07/22/07 — Wolfe will be focus of WCC's season

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Wolfe will be focus of WCC's season

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 22, 2007 2:00 AM

One of North Carolina's most famous writers, Thomas Wolfe, will be the cornerstone of the coming season for the Wayne Community College Foundation.

Professor Emeritus Dr. James W. Clark of N.C. State University will speak about some of the myths surrounding the famed author Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. in 101 Walnut Building. Clark, editor of Wolfe's novella, "The Lost Boy," received the Thomas Wolfe Society Citation among other awards during his career.

The event will kick off a season of Wolfe study in Wayne County, culminating in the production of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Look Homeward, Angel" at the college.

Margaret Boothe Baddour will direct the play, which will star local performers Rosalyn Lomax and Geoff Hulse as the Gants, the fictional version of Wolfe's parents.

Auditions will be held in late August for the remaining cast, who will inhabit the Wolfes' "Dixieland" boarding house, based on the one where the author grew up in Asheville.

"We are expecting to have a wonderful set, a rendition of the boarding house -- with its porches and rooms -- designed by Bobby Boyd, who did our sets for 'To Kill A Mockingbird,'" Mrs. Baddour said. "This play is going to be ambitious."

Other related events include a literary trip planned for Sept. 7-9. On the agenda are visits to the Thomas Wolfe Home in Asheville and the Carl Sandburg Home in Flat Rock. Participants will see a play at Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theater of North Carolina and enjoy restaurants in the area.

Local book clubs are also invited to join in reading either "Look Homeward, Angel" or "The Lost Boy," Mrs. Baddour said. Copies of the latter will also be available for purchase and to autograph, she said.

Wolfe was considered one of the top writers of the early 20th century, she noted, along with Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway. He was so prolific that his famous editor, Max Perkins, had to break long manuscripts into several books. Most notably, she explained, "Look Homeward, Angel" and "You Can't Go Home Again," the latter prompted by Wolfe's realization that the people of Asheville resented him after being exposed in his thinly veiled, autobiographical first novel.

For more information about any of the foundation events, contact Mrs. Baddour at 735-5151, ext. 760 or Jack Kannan, executive director of the foundation, at 735-5151, ext. 246.