The Autumn Players present “Presidential Voices”

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October 28, 2020 | By Jenny

The Autumn Players present “Presidential Voices”

As we approach Election Day, 2020, it is interesting and instructive to consider the thoughts of previous presidents on government, politics, and on being the Chief of State. The Autumn Players, the senior wing of Asheville Community Theatre, will present a reading of “Presidential Voices” Thursday, October 29, at 9:00 am on WSFM, Asheville FM radio station 103.3.

Carol Anders will host the reading on her weekly program, “Dreamers and Doers.” Autumn Players Deborah Austin, Terry Darakjy, and Mike Sunshine are readers with the show’s co-host,  ZaKiya Bell Rogers of Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective. In addition to the live radio broadcast on October 29, “Presidential Voices” can be heard as a live stream and archived through November 5 at

The program includes quotations from of all U.S. presidents, from Washington to Trump. Their voices ring out in their words written in correspondence and delivered in speeches. Thomas Jefferson wrote of his desire to enter heaven without a political party and his love of books; Franklin Roosevelt pondered college educated thieves; Grover Cleveland wrote about good ballplayers; and Herbert Hoover recorded thoughts on both the national debt and Santa Claus.

Quotes include presidential advice on character and musings on a variety of topics ranging from horses to the wonder of American women to spelling. Famous speeches from the fireside, inaugural stage, and the battlefield are featured, as are poems by presidents. Abraham Lincoln wrote a poem about a bear hunt; George Washington and John Tyler crafted words to woo; and James Madison wrote attack poetry that rivals negative ads of today.

Through eight presidential terms of office, The Autumn Players have presented “Presidential Voices” for a variety of audiences in schools, libraries, and retirement centers. The radio broadcast is one of the ways the senior group is reaching out to audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. In past seasons, the Players performed children’s stories in elementary schools, poetry readings in retirement homes, and an annual series of readers’ theatre productions of classic and contemporary plays at Asheville Community Theatre’s 35below and the Reuter Center on the UNCA campus.

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