Storyteller Sherry Lovett

The Tale of Two Charlies, a two-person play, stars local storytellers Sherry Lovett, pictured above, and Larry Pearlman.

A Tale of Two Charlies, written by great American playwright Jo Carson who based the play on the real-life history of Charlie McKinney and Charlie Silvers in nearby Orchard at Altapass, will unfold on the stage of White Horse Black Mountain on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Charlie McKinney had four wives at the same time, and they all got along. He also had 48 children! In contrast, Charlie Silver’s wife, Frankie, got hanged for murdering him.

Carson, also a poet, essayist and actor, wrote the play for the historic Orchard at Altapass, which was founded by her family members, Bill and Judy Carson and Kit Trubey. This play interweaves these historical stories, which happened near the Orchard at Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The two-person play is directed by Kiesa Kay and stars local storytellers Sherry Lovett and Larry Pearlman.

Many around the region know the story of Frankie Silver who was hanged by the state of North Carolina for killing her husband, Charlie. Almost two centuries later, the circumstances surrounding the murder are still under some discussion. But in 1833, women had little rights, and Frankie was not permitted to testify. The two-day trial ended in a guilty verdict and brought about the first--and supposedly only--hanging of a woman in Burke County.

Tickets are $15 the day of the event. Doors open at 7 p.m. Visit or call 828-669-0816.


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