In 2010, Coble’s daughter performed in a production of “Our Country’s Good” during her time at the Governor’s School of North Carolina. It was at this performance that Coble met a young Andrew Crabtree , who just a year later would come to UNC to study drama.
“Our Country’s Good” tells the story of Great Britain’s settling of Australia in the 1700s, when it was used as a place for penal colonies. The show, based on journals from an early penal colony, follows an officer who decides to do a play as a way to civilize the criminals.
Coble knew years later, when planning KTC’s rendition of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play, she wanted Crabtree in the production as John Wisehammer, the same role he played in 2010.
But what Coble could not anticipate was Crabtree’s death last summer after a battle with cancer. For that reason, KTC’s production of “Our Country’s Good,” which starts today and runs through Monday, is dedicated to him.
“I designed this year’s program hoping Andrew would repeat the role, thinking we’d put it on again,” Coble said. “We all knew he was sick, but no one knew how sick.”
Coble said Crabtree had an elemental personality.
“He was one of the most energetic, bonding members of the department,” she said.
Coble said Crabtree’s parents and friends — like producing director Madison Scott — have been close with each other in the production.