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Outdoor Drama – the Message of Easter


Every year for over thirty-nine years in the small Eastern North Carolina community of Farm Life, not very far from Big Mill Bed and Breakfast, the folks of Piney Grove Baptist Church present an outdoor drama of the final days of the life of Jesus Christ.

Outdoor drama photo of Last Supper at Message of Easter

The Message of Easter began as a vision of E.T. Taylor, a childhood friend of mine. It has grown and some nights thousands of folks attend, coming from all over.

E.T. was no novice to outdoor drama, having played Governor Eden in Blackbeard, Knight of the Black Flag, in historic Bath, N.C, a few moons ago in the seventies.

E.T. Taylor and Chloe Gurking photo at Black Beard, Knight of the Black Flag

E.T. Taylor & Chloe Ann

We sailed 10 miles on the Pamlico River to see E.T. in this performance; the return sail was under a gorgeous full moon.

In its first few years The Message of Easter was performed on the lawn. Now visitors enjoy the performances in a large outdoor theater that seats 3,000 folks with special lighting, surround sound and ample parking. And all this is offered at no charge.

Church members do it all: acting, set design, lighting, costumes, parking and everything in between. Some folks have never missed a performance.

Easter play in Williamston North Carolina | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/message-of-easter-outdoor-drama/

Thirty years ago E.T. chose Jimmy Griffin to play Jesus, and Jimmy is still fulfilling that promise. Leslie Hardison is the only man to ever play Peter.

Billy Peel is a barber by trade; but every year for thirty years in the weeks before Easter he is Pontius Pilot. Billy was my first boyfriend: I was two, he was three. His wife Betty Jo is tired of hearing us talk about it; I don’t blame her. And for thirty years she has been Pilot’s wife.

Eastern North Carolina Outdoor Drama | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/message-of-easter-outdoor-drama/

Williamston is a small town, not unlike Mayberry, and I call many of the folks at Piney Grove, “Cousin.”  Imagine for a moment that the good folks of Mayberry presented an outdoor drama. You can be sure they would be sincere, the drama would be first class and the community would be involved. That’s what happens in Farm Life in the weeks leading up to Easter. Everyone works together and works hard and everyone is welcome.

The Message of Easter in Farm Life | https://chloesblog.bigmill.com/message-of-easter-outdoor-drama/

This year’s 2019 drama is the 40th year. The April 11, 2019 performance will be in Spanish. English performances:  April 12, 13, 14 and April 18, 19, 20 & 21, 2019.  For information about the Message of Easter call 252-792-1342. Remember spring can be chilly. If our Big Mill B&B guests attend the Easter drama, we send them off with cushions and blankets.

Dedicated to the memory of E.T. Taylor, a friend to many.


View Message of Easter Outdoor Drama in a larger map

Big Mill Bed and Breakfast 252-792-8787

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Chloe Tuttle

Eco-friendly innkeeper at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast
I am a farm girl who sailed the world, returned home to the family farm and opened Big Mill Bed and Breakfast. Join us for Business EXTENDED STAY or a quiet getaway 252-792-8787.
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