Grit & Grace is back for a “fresh start”

PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR NANCY HASTY (seated at right), also pictured are Board President Latilda Hughes - Neel, Secretary Marie Hinson, Rose Rogers, Susan Eddie’s-Horaist, Betty Carpenter, and Vice President Mac Carpenter.

Story and photos by BRUCE COLLIER

Last Saturday the board of Grit & Grace, The Official Folk Life Production of Walton County, Fla., held a special meeting at the DeFuniak Springs home of Nancy Hasty and Ray Houseknecht. Hasty, a professional playwright, actress and rector, has been engaged to write and direct the next production of Grit & Grace. 

Like just about everything else, the annual tradition of presenting Grit & Grace was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. With the removal of restrictions, the company is assembling to cast, rehearse and present an original play, written and directed by Hasty. 

Board Secretary Marie Hinson said, “I am so excited that Nancy is going to be working with us. We know we’re going to have a great show.”

Board President Latilda Hughes – Neel added, “This is just a wonderful opportunity after the year we’ve all had with COVID and not being able to get together like we were able to. To be able to come back with a vengeance and reinvent Grit & Grace and embrace all that the county is. And Nancy is the right person both as writer and director to lead the charge for that. We’re really grateful for this opportunity to have her work with us.”

Nancy Hasty said, “I’m just so glad to be working with these wonderful people, some of them for the first time and some, like Latilda and Mac [Carpenter], again….We have a lot of stories to tell and a lot of parts of the county to cover. We’re looking forward to a totally fresh start.”  

Story-telling events are being scheduled in all areas of the county; be on the look-out for one in your area. They are collecting stories for next year’s shows and other shows to come. For more information, go to