With Opening Night only a few weeks away, DeLanna Studi’s time in the rehearsal room is becoming more precious by the minute. But on this Wednesday afternoon in early April, the star of the show cannot stop the tears from flowing.
For the Cherokee actress who created “And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears,” this scene is as personal as it gets. She’s just discovered the homeplace of her ancestors in western North Carolina, the land by the Hiwassee River where her family thrived generations ago, before they were forced to relocate to Oklahoma. The government later would build a dam on the old tribal land.