William & Carla Coleman have been actively involved in community theater and musical presentations since they were married in 1967.
Leaving college in 1974 to pursue a music/recording career full time, William released the regional hit, “Oregon (I Can’t Go Home)” with his highly successful folk/rock group, Blackhawk County. After establishing himself as one of the northwest’s stand out solo artists, he returned to Western Oregon State College to earn a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Music, Writing and Literature in 1985.
During this period Carla owned and operated a successful hair styling business, distinguishing herself as an award winning stylist and business professional, while also pursuing an interest in drama through local community theater. She gained valuable acting, directing, technical and administrative experience through her personal participation in over twenty-five productions for the stage.
Since 1991, the Colemans have combined their love of history with their experience in the performing arts by writing, directing, and featuring in a variety of historic, and contemporary productions for the stage. The popularity of their first recorded collection of Civil War music and readings, “Tenting Tonight,” led to the release of three more collections: “Tunes of Glory,” “Chantilly Remembrance,” and “The Last Roses,” and the development of five original theatrical presentations based upon letters and diaries from the Civil War.
“Taps: The Civil War In Word and Song,” their first presentation to receive national recognition in 1998 with performances in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania at “The Conflict” Theater, has grown in popularity through out the United States.
In 2000 they were commissioned by the Monocacy National Battlefield Park near Frederick, Maryland to interpret, write and perform an original historical presentation based upon letters written by a soldier involved in the 1864 battle. “The Last Rose: A Civil War Remembrance” joined “Taps” as an intimate, touching portrayal of life and love, set against the dark tapestry of war.
Their latest project, “The Haunting War” debuted in September, 2005 with the release of a collection of original and period Civil War songs. The stage production, under the same title, deals with the effects of war on those forced to endure it, and ways in which the Civil War touches lives to this very day. “The Haunting War” is currently listed in the Oregon Council for the Humanities “Chautauqua” catalogue and is being performed through out the state, with a national tour slated for the summer of 2006.