Museum Theater

The Heritage Alliance uses museum theatre to connect the present to the past. Plays are created using primary sources. These programs are available to travel to schools, libraries, senior centers, and other destinations throughout the region. The Heritage Alliance also offers several productions throughout the year in a variety of locations, including A Spot On the Hill in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery, and Voices of the Chester at the Chester Inn Museum. To stay up to date with all of our productions, check our calendar or the website or visit our Facebook page.


In 1820, Elihu Embree published his newspaper The Emancipator on Main Street, Jonesborough. The seven edition paper is the first publication dedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. Embree passed away in December of 1820, and the paper died with him. Even though it was short-lived, The Emancipator had over 2,000 subscribers and its reach went all the way to Boston and Philadelphia. In spite of his abolitionist beliefs, Embree himself was an enslaver. Nancy was an enslaved woman owned by Elihu Embree, and her story is told in this original play entitled “Nancy.”


“A Sojourn in Jonesborough”

This 30 minute show follows in the footsteps of Annette Broadacre as she visits Jonesborough in 1856. The play is based entirely on primary sources and is a wonderful look at town just prior to the Civil War.


“Things Are Changing”

This two person, 30 minute show depicts the battle of words and ideas between Julia Bullard Nelson and a local newspaper at the turn of the 20th century. Nelson was the teacher and principal at the Warner Institute, a school for African Americans following the Civil War. She was also a suffragette. Using primary sources, this play examines the discussions over race, gender, and access to education at the turn of the 20th century.