Cheever

A play by Emory Jones—based on his book, Memories Etched in Pott’ry

The play, Cheever, depicts one day in the life of longtime North Georgia folk potter, Cheever Meaders. Cheever, who lived from 1885 until 1967, was a colorful character and an inf...Full description

  • “Playing the role of Cheever Meaders was beyond mind-blowing! Living in the skin of a pioneer potter provided me with a wonderful artistic challenge as an actor, creating a real person and doing honor to the playwright, the message and his family members who were in attendance. On opening night, Cheever's youngest daughter was in the audience and when I said of my numerous "What?" lines, I heard Ruby say in full voice, ‘Yep, my daddy was deaf!’ If you have a chance to perform this play in your area, by all means, go for it!"—Bill Gabelhausen, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Associate Professor of Theatre, Piedmont College
  • “After my first read of Cheever, one thing became crystal clear—this play is a timeless story that will appeal to just about everyone. The characters and the detail of their lives are rooted in 1960’s North Georgia, but the situation in which they find themselves is one that has been going on since mankind first started using work as a measure of self-worth. Cheever watches his life’s work, creating functional pottery, fade into obscurity with the introduction of large-scale food processing, indoor electricity, and affordable refrigeration. Cheever, questioning his contributions and legacy, is especially poignant.”—Kathy Blandin, Associate Professor of Theatre, Piedmont College

Full Description

A play by Emory Jones—based on his book, Memories Etched in Pott’ry

The play, Cheever, depicts one day in the life of longtime North Georgia folk potter, Cheever Meaders. Cheever, who lived from 1885 until 1967, was a colorful character and an influential force in the world of both pottery and the local politics of that era.

Cheever and his wife, Arie, share their humor and history in an imaginary visit with modern-day pottery expert, Dr. John Burrison, Regents’ Professor of English and director of the folklore curriculum at Atlanta’s Georgia State University.

Although Dr. Burrison never met Cheever Meaders, he always said that not knowing the man was the biggest regret of his life. So, Jones used the world of theater to make a one-day visit between the two happen.

The play, set in Cheever’s pottery shop, takes place in 1967, two weeks before Cheever died on that Thanksgiving morning. Jones uses the conversations between Cheever, Arie and Dr. Burrison as a way to tell the many stories the playwright heard firsthand from his grandfather, Wiley Meaders. Wiley was the oldest and Cheever the youngest of the six brothers in clay.

The play depicts the universal angst of a man seeing his life’s work fade into oblivion as modern methods replace the old ways passed down for generations. The play also captures the history and music of North Georgia’s past.

If your school or theatre would like to schedule a performance of Cheever, email emory@emoryjonesllc.com.

Cast of Characters for Cheever

  1. Cheever Meaders—79-year-old man
  2. Arie Meaders—70-year-old woman
  3. Dr. John Burrison—27-year-old college professor

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