On Thurs. March 22 you can learn about Charleston’s history from Michele Moore, author of local historical fiction novel, The Cigar Factory. Moore hosts a brief reception at the very Cigar Factory that inspired her story — well the fancy, renovated part of it anyway.

Since The Cigar Factory‘s release in 2016, Moore has been adapting her novel for the stage. Sounds of the Cigar Factory, a theatrical production based on the first part of The Cigar Factory, became a surprise hit at Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival two years ago, where it was performed by the Footlight Players Theater. Now, Moore is working on a full theatrical adaptation of The Cigar Factory that she will workshop in the Cedar Room. The script will be fully produced in 2019.

The Cigar Factory tells the stories of two families, one white, one African-American,  whose matriarchs work at the Charleston cigar factory during the world wars. Cassie McGonegal, the matriarch of the white family, works with her niece on one floor of the Cigar Factory hand-rolling cigars. Meliah Amey Ravenell, the matriarch of the African-American family, works in the basement, stemming tobacco. Segregation keeps them apart and ignorant of the fact that they are both experiencing harsh working conditions and sexual harassment at the cigar factory. They remain separate until the Tobacco Workers’ Strike of 1945.

Head to the Cedar Room at 6 p.m. on March 22 to hear excerpts from Moore’s new theatrical production. Attendance is free — but donations are appreciated. RSVP by emailing katekaelly38@live.com.

You can purchase the book online.

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