The Courthouse Window

THEATER REVIEW: Courthouse production defeats several challenges

By Mark Hughes Cobb Staff Writer

Barry Bradford's play 'The Face in the Courthouse Window' is an honest, frightening slice of historical entertainment that might be a hit, even though it often condemns the ancestors of the people who watch it.

Many know the gist from the folklore book '13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey,' but Bradford researched memoirs, newspapers and other artifacts to put together this lean, purposeful script about Henry Wells and his ugly fate in the Pickens County Courthouse.


A new look at ‘the face'

By Mark Hughes Cobb Tusk Editor

The ironies lay so thick you could build a brick courthouse on 'em.

Henry Wells, accused — and very likely guilty of — burning down the Pickens County Courthouse in 1876, saved the structure built to replace it more than a century after his death. Residents who didn't wish to wash Wells' face from the garret stopped a threatened demolition in 2001.

Another irony: Some of those citizens very likely are descended from the folks who threatened Wells, forcing his incarceration in the attic of the courthouse, leading to the incident some say emblazoned his frightened face in that upper window forever.


Carrollton hosts play to benefit historic building

By Mark Hughes Cobb Staff Writer

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A solid foundation kept this “Courthouse” construction moving, even when a few bricks seemed missing.

Barry Bradford's play “The Face in the Courthouse Window” will premiere April 15-18 at the Carrollton courthouse where Henry Wells' face is — some say — rather eerily embedded in window glass.

After earning her undergraduate degree in theater at the University of Alabama, director Sarah Norris worked in New York City and at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas developing new works, so the journey isn't as daunting as it might have been.


Play could help save infamous Pickens County courthouse

By Mark Hughes Cobb Staff Writer

A new play based on the legend of Henry Wells, who allegedly torched the Pickens County Courthouse in 1876, may ironically help save the replacement building where Wells’ haunted face is said to be burned by lightning into a garret window.

“When you say you’re from Pickens County, people either say ‘Well, that’s where my hunting club is’ or ‘That’s where the face in the window is,’ ” said Leon Manning, senior vice president of First National Bank of Central Alabama, which is producing the play. “It’s clearly an asset we could build up.”


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What Others are Saying

"I believe the play "The Face In The Courthouse Window" (performed in the historic courthouse in Carrollton) will quickly become an annual event not to be missed."

Tina F. Turley
Executive Producer/Theatre Tuscaloosa

Need to Know

Tickets go on Sale:
January 5, 2013

Entertainment/Guest Featured:
Bobby Horton
5th Alabama Regiment

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