BECKLEY, W.Va. — Theater West Virginia is bringing back its most original production for the upcoming summer season with the return of ‘Honey in the Rock’.

After an over five year hiatus, Theater WV General Manager Gayle Oaks told MetroNews the timing was right to bring the popular performance about the Mountain State’s roots back to the stage at the Cliffside Amphitheater in Grandview.

“To bring it back in full swing and inviting people to come out and see it and things like that is just amazing, to see the story of West Virginia, and we’ve had great responses, people are just excited to see it,” Oaks said.

First debuted on the Grandview stage in 1961, the Civil War drama attracts thousands from all over to witness the story of the birth of West Virginia. With the recent resignation of the New River Gorge National Park and increased visitation numbers to the area, Oaks believes those crowd numbers coming to see the play will increase even more.

The story is told through the perspective of the fictitious Morgan family, who are faced with what real West Virginians living in Wheeling at the time were going through in the mid to late 1800s– the breaking away from Virginia and the settling and development of new land.

The performance features prominent historical figures such as Stonewall Jackson, soon-to-be president at the time, Andrew Johnson, and the first governor of West Virginia, Arthur Boreman.

With expert guidance, Oaks said they will also be bringing back some original deleted scenes from the play which featured a Native American song and dance.

“That was something with political correctness was removed several seasons ago, but with some consultants and things like that we’re going to try to bring that scene back, which everybody always seemed to enjoy and was a big part of it, you know, the honey out of the rock, the fire coming out of the stage,” she said.

Oaks said Honey in the Rock at Theater WV is where Academy Award winning nominee Chris Sarandon got his start. Actor, director and playwright David Selby also starred in one of the play’s earlier productions at the Grandview stage.

Oaks said the return of the over 60 year old drama at Theater WV is huge in celebrating the state’s rich culture and heritage, especially by bringing the production back to its most original form.

“It is the foundation of Theater West Virginia, and to bring it back is showing people that we’re going back to our roots, we’re bringing stuff back to the glory days, because last year that’s all I could say was we’re bringing stuff back to the glory days,” she said.

Oaks said as an extra way to celebrate the heritage of the Mountain State, the performance will be free on West Virginia Day, June 20. She said all people must do to attend that day is get online and reserve their seats.

“It’s just important for West Virginia to get to its roots and know its roots, and how we became a state,” said Oaks.

She said ‘Hatfield’s and McCoy’s’ will run in tandem with Honey in the Rock this year.

Theater WV’s Summer 2024 performance schedule is as follows:

. Honey in the Rock: June 18, 20, 22, 26, 28, and 30

. Hatfield’s and McCoy’s: June 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, and 29

. Footloose: July 11-14, 16-21, and 23-28

Oaks said they will also be holding auditions for their performances as well as Academy Classes starting in January.

To reserve tickets for the shows or register for auditions, you can visit