A Night With The Neugents is a collaborative process of between many artists with deep ties to North Carolina.
In 1999, David M. Spear gave Mary Guiteras a copy of The Nuegents: Close To Home just before she moved from North Carolina to New York City for college. Through the years the book remained important to Guiteras and finally in February of 2015 she contacted her favorite NC native writers and close friends Eric Slater, Erin Lennox and Jeni Smith to start an undefined and unknown project based on the book. None of the four writers lived in the same state and only one of them at the time was based in North Carolina yet their love of their home state and their admiration of Spear's work inspired them. They realized that there was no way their words could replace the stories told in Spear's photos so instead they would compliment it. They took individual images from the book and created monologues and dialogues based on them. The resulting performance is a non linear radio play accompanying large scale projections of the inspiring image.
The next artist to get involved was Miles Andrews, the frontman for North Carolina based bluegrass band Big Fat Gap. He created the score for A Night With The Neugents using the Billboard Top Country and Rock hits from 1987 to 1992, the years the photos were taken. This subtly sets the timeline for the show, reminding the audience that despite the seeming old timey photographs, this took place not too far in the past.
The productions of A Night With The Nuegents have featured the extraordinary talents of actors Jane Holding and Jeffrey Moore. Both these performers have roots in North Carolina and have taken this connection to breathe life into the writers' words.
The work of all these artists comes together in this unique exploration of one family's joys and struggles that is both singular to life in rural North Carolina and universal to anyone has worked hard, butt heads with a family member and struggled to keep up in a quickly changing word.