THOMASTON — After four years of revising and planning, Count Me In, the original musical about local Revolutionary War hero Henry Knox, is in production and will be on stage June 24 and 25, at 7 p.m.; and June 26, at 3 p.m., and again July 1 and 2, at 7 p.m. Performances will be in Historic Watts Hall, Thomaston.
Rehearsals began May 1 with a volunteer cast of 24 and a volunteer support team of 30. The musical features 12 original songs sung by both new local talent and some familiar faces from the Watts Hall Community Players’ previous productions.
Count Me In began as a 2018 summer project between Thomaston resident Benie Colvin and her then 15-year-old granddaughter, Logan. It was Logan’s 7th year as the lone camper at “Camp Gigi” and her grandmother had exhausted her list of excursions and art projects, according to The Watts Hall Community Players, in a news release. It was also the summer that people were clamoring to go to a Broadway production about Alexander Hamilton, a 250-year-old historical figure. Logan loved making up lyrics and melodies and Benie liked to write. Why not create a musical about Thomaston’s own Revolutionary hero, General Henry Knox?
The original script was simply a historical account of Knox’s life, and the first song was a piece that Logan’s mom, also named Benie, had written for an elementary school project of Logan’s. “Make My Mark” was catchy and fit the tone of the story, so Logan changed the words to fit one of the opening scenes in the play. Then Henry’s journey from Ticonderoga needed another song and, overnight, Logan wrote “Ridin’ On.” The music just kept coming. Benie would find another potential song spot, and Logan would go to work both alone and long distance with her mother in Houston, Texas. In 2 weeks, the initial script was ready and Logan and her mom had written 10 songs. The fledgling project began to sound like a musical.
“Move over, Hamilton! After over 200 years, Henry was going to sing!” said Watts.
Four years later, with a title switch from “Make My Mark” to “Count Me In,” a much expanded story using both historical figures and a modern day school room, more prominent roles for Lucy Knox and other women (Logan’s request), two additional songs, and multiple revisions, the musical is a reality.
Logan and both Benies see this as a tribute to General Henry Knox and a gift to Thomaston, a community that has welcomed these Georgians and Texans. …“the little town that we love called Thomaston.”
Performances will be June 24 and 25, at 7 p.m.; June 26, at 3 p.m.; and July 1 and 2, at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10.
For ticket information, go to the Watts Hall Community Players website: wattshallcommunityplayers.org.