On April the 11th, 2001, Dr.
Kermit Hunter passed away in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hunter wrote
the script for "Horn in the West" as well as forty other
historical productions. He attended the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill where he wrote "Unto These Hills" as
his Master's Thesis under Dr. Paul Greene.
He had been working on a script titled "Wilderness Road" and
when asked to write a script for the Boone area, adapted
that one into "Horn in the West."
Dr. Hunter was an eloquent spokesman for the outdoor drama art
form. He was an accomplished musician who attended the
Julliard School of Music and often composed the scores for his
shows. He was also an accomplished indoor theatre playwright
and poet. His voice and support of the uniquely American art
form that is outdoor drama will be missed dearly. Over 1.4
million people have seen Horn in the West since it opened in
1952. We now have the privilege of keeping Dr. Hunter's words
alive for generations to come.
Glenn Causey played Daniel Boone for 41
On Thursday, July 6, 2000, the Horn in the West extended
family lost a well-loved and much respected member, with the
passing of Glenn Causey. We would like to take this
opportunity to honor his memory. Glenn began performing in the
Drama on its opening night in 1952. From 1956 until 1996 he
played the character of Daniel Boone without missing a single
performance. His image became the basis for many depictions of
Daniel Boone still seen in the area today, including the
painting displayed in the Daniel Boone exhibit in the museum
at Grandfather Mountain. The spirit of Daniel Boone still
walks these mountains, the spirit of Glenn Causey still lives
in our hearts.
in 1952 in just 3 months and designed by John Lippard and 4 students
from the NC State School of Design, the 2,500-seat Daniel Boone
Theatre has been described as the best outdoor theatre in the East.
These students took 35 acres of rugged Watauga County terrain,
including a tree-covered ravine and molded a beautiful outdoor
theatre into the natural surroundings.
Keeping in mind the heritage and
traditions of the people of of Western North Carolina, Lippard and
the students designed their stage to fit author Hunter's play. The
theatre's background also was fashioned to fit the staging
directions of the drama, and blend in with the mountain landscape.
Construction is of frame, painted a soft grey, a native stone is
used as a retaining wall around the seating area and stage.
While they were working at their plans, the designers attempted not
to disturb the existing vegetation and used native plants in the
landscape scheme. Giant rhododendron which formerly grew in the
place now occupied by the seating area was moved up the hill to help
screen the theatre from the parking lots. Critics who reviewed the
play called the theatre "one of the most beautiful, if not the most
beautiful in America" "The theatre alone is worth the price of
The Department of Landscape
Architecture at (NC) State College was approached on the matter of
designing the theatre by Samuel Selden, head of the Department
of Dramatic art and Kermit Hunter author of "Horn in the West", both
from UNC Chapel Hill. The author and director impressed on the
Department their urgent need of the theatre. Whereupon the
department assured them of their co-operation and set about to do
The Daniel Boone Theatre and Horn in
the West grounds continue to serve the High country in various ways
as time goes by. Southern Appalachian Historical Association,
Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum, Powderhorn Theatre, The Watauga
County Farmers Market, and Halloween "Haunted Horn" now
call Horn in the West home.
The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are also on the Horn in the West
Grounds because of the care used in preserving the natural plant
life. The Gardens are an impressive display of the native flora of
the Appalachian region and provide a must see collection of mature
regional plants and landscaping
Delicious local produce,
vegetables, and crafts abound at the Watauga County Farmer's Market
which is located on the grounds and operates every
Saturdays, May thru October morning to noon, and
Wednesdays mid-June thru mid-September morning to noon,
starting the first Saturday in May.
As a whole the settlers, Dr. Hunter, and the Designers would have
been proud of the community service, ecological and cultural
preservation that Horn in the West and Daniel Boone Theatre foster.
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