First Posted: 1/15/2009
PEMBROKE - State Rep. Ronnie Sutton has introduced legislation that he believes will revitalize “Strike at the Wind!” - the on-again, off-again outdoor drama that is off again this year.
Sutton's bill, introduced in March, would give “SATW!” $40,000 for electronics, stage lighting and other sound equipment. The bill is before the Appropriations Committee, which Sutton is a member of. It is unclear when the committee will vote on his request.
State Reps. Garland Pierce and Douglas Yongue, who represent parts of Robeson County, are co-sponsors of the bill.
The 29-year-old drama hasn't been performed at the N.C. Cultural Center since 2003. It recently got new management. The Carolina Arts Network, a new nonprofit organization, hopes to return to the stage the play about Henry Berry Lowrie in the summer of 2006.
Malinda Maynor, a member of the network's board of directors, said it welcomes any support for the drama.
“The Cultural Center is supporting us and we are excited to have that relationship be positive,” Maynor said. “This would help us with upgrades at the (Adolph Dial) Amphitheater.”
Costumes and other materials are also needed. Maynor said the group plans to raise money from outside sources, including federal grants.
A lack of money led to the show closing in 2004. The show, which started in 1976, closed for three summers, in 1996, 1997 and 1998. It reopened in 1999. The show has been paired with Lumbee Homecoming at the end of June and the first part of July.
“'Strike at the Wind!' is undergoing a new-formed organization and starting from scratch,” Sutton said. “This money, if approved, will be designated to help put them in a position to begin rehearsals next spring.”