What is Swamp Gravy?

Year after year, Swamp Gravy, the Official Folk Life Play of Georgia, produces plays that delight audiences of all ages and all backgrounds. While definitely steeped in Southern tradition, Swamp Gravy presents stories of universal appeal- stories about life and death, about family, about community. Each performance is a crowd-pleasing blend of comedy, drama, and music with a cast and crew of over 100 people who transform southern life into unforgettable theatre.
In 1991, founder Joy Jinks met a young director working on PhD named Richard Geer in New York City. Together they developed a plan for what would be known as community performance theater.
So a team of volunteers led by Charlotte Phillips and Sara Ann Keaton began collecting and recording stories from the people of Colquitt, GA. After many stories were gathered they were passed along to Jo Carson who adapted a portion of the stories into the play format. Karen Kimbrel wrote the songs and with the help of Steve Hacker, these were set to music. Richard Geer directed the play and before we knew it, we had Swamp Gravy.
What exactly is Swamp Gravy? This name is indigenous of the area. It is a stew like dish that is made from pouring “fish drippings” that you have left in the grease after frying fish. Then you add tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and whatever else you have on hand and make a side dish or it could even be the whole meal if you don’t have enough fish for everyone.

2 thoughts on “What is Swamp Gravy?

  1. Do y’all still have Swamp Gravy or has it been replaced by different names? I’ve always wanted to see it but never got the chance! Can you let me know if it’s still being done & if so when?


    1. Hi there! Swamp Gravy is performed every October and March! It is always given a subtitle name. For instance, this year’s performance is Swamp Gravy: Nuthin’ But A Will!

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