Tanasi 1796 Performance Credits

Tanasi 1796

The Cast

The show is highlighted by the representation of the Cherokee Nation's 18th-century leader Attakullakulla, portrayed by Captain Robert K. Rambo (USA, Ret.) of Cullowhee, North Carolina. Rob is a leading academic scholar in the field of Cherokee history, has a BA degree in History from the Virginia Military Institute, and a Master's Degree in US History with a concentration in Cherokee Studies from Western Carolina University. Rob has performed the role of Attakullakulla professionally many hundreds of times since 1993, and he has also appeared in numerous documentaries, films, plays, and paintings as Attakullakulla.

Rob was the sole researcher, writer, and performer of his character and dramatic presentation, using his own research and scholarship of Cherokee history and culture. He also provided his own regalia and all of the impressive display of Cherokee artifacts, reproductions, weapons, and hides, which he uses in his professional one-hour dramatic and educational presentations around the United States.

Joe Casterline, who portrays Captain Joseph Black, is a professionally trained actor and frequent performer with the Tennessee Stage Company in productions of Shakespeare on the Square in downtown Knoxville. His period dress and dramatic presentation poignantly depict the imagined life of Captain Black, one of the drafters and signers of the Tennessee Constitution.

Steve Ricker plays Militiaman Andrew Evans, who served with Captain Black at the battle of Kings Mountain. Steve is an officer in the Over Mountain Victory Trail Association and has on multiple occasions delivered his historically accurate rendition of the march to and battle of Kings Mountain and the story of "sweet lips" role in the death of Major Patrick Ferguson. Steve also specializes in the creation of authentic period implements: powder horns, leather goods, knives, and dress.

Mark Halback, in the role of the Reverend Samuel Doak, is the former director of the Davy Crockett Museum in Morristown, Tennessee. He serves as a board member of the Over Mountain Victory Trail Association and specializes in the portrayal of Samuel Doak during Kings Mountain reenactments, where he delivers his version of the documented sermon and prayer of Reverend Samuel Doak inspiring the Overmountain men on the night before leaving the Sycamore Shoals rendezvous point.

Throughout the production are beautiful and effective musical accompaniments performed by Conny Ottway, who specializes in period violin and fiddle performance practices, and who currently teaches and performs in the Knoxville area, and Randy McGinnis on the Cherokee flute. McGinnis is the founder of the Smoky Mountain Flute Circle, a teacher of the Cherokee flute as well as the Cherokee language, and a Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) winner.

The presentation of Tanasi 1796 is introduced by the choral talents of the Maryville College Lads directed by Alan Eleazer and also features a moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" as the photos of the grave markers of the Blount County Revolutionary War soldiers scroll across the screen.

The backdrop for the program is accurately and artistically represented by the impressive period art of David Wright, Steve Luce, Lloyd Branson, and Clifford Henry as well as murals and artwork provided courtesy of the Fort Loudoun Association and other as yet unidentified depictions from the internet.