Play Honors Mountain People Forced from their Homes

Displaced children found it painful to wear shoes all the time and knew they didn’t fit in with the other schoolchildren. Their story is told in “Can’t Feel at Home.”

“Can’t Feel at Home,” an original play about the people displaced from their mountain homes to accommodate Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park, comes to Piedmont Virginia Community College June 23 and 24.

Many of the displaced people never adapted to life outside their hollows. Some disconnected bathtubs from their new, resettlement homes and dragged them outside to scald hogs. Shoes hurt the children’s feet, and the stares of strangers frightened their parents. Some resisted being forced off their land and were led away in handcuffs. Most of all, they mourned their lost way of life, returning when they could to spend an hour or an afternoon searching for the remains of their demolished homes.

Without the familiar herbs and moonshine on the mountain, they sought medical care for their ailments, and their plight caught the attention of the doctor who treated them. “Can’t Feel at Home” is an original play by the late Dr. John T. Glick, who was the family physician for several generations of the displaced people. For 30 years, Glick listened to the stories, and he wrote a play about their trauma, including how some of them healed their wounds.

The play premiered at Harrisonburg’s Court Square Theater to five sold-out performances in December 2022. It returned for five additional sold-out performances in January 2023.  The cast and production company decided to present it on this side of the mountains, so people here could have a chance to hear the powerful and moving story that included people resettled in counties east of the Blue Ridge: Albemarle, Nelson, Greene, Madison and Rappahannock.

This production of “Can’t Feel at Home” is sponsored by the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society. It will be presented at Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Dickinson Theater for three performances June 23 and 24: Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Find out more at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society’s website:; and buy tickets at 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here