February 4th, 2023 10pm Stage 3
Cashavelly Morrison has been immersed in art since her upbringing in West Virginia, and with all its permutations, it has always been a catalyst for transformation and spiritual reckoning. She studied ballet from the age of 3 until she left home at 15 to study with legendary ballerina Melissa Hayden at the North Carolina School of the Arts (now UNCSA). She went on to dance in Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia before suffering a broken vertebra that left her confined to a bed in a back brace for a year. During that year of isolation, she wrote her first songs. In the summer of 2001, she moved to New York City to study acting at the Stella Adler Studio and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. Cashavelly immersed herself in writing screenplays and more songs, which eventually led her to move South to study with writer Richard Dillard at Hollins University, where she received her Master’s in Creative Writing. Her writing and love for music led her to create her first album, The Kingdom Belongs to a Child. It released in 2015 and won an Independent Music Award for Best Alt. Country Album. No Depression gave rave reviews; Huffington Post called it “honest, evocative, and intoxicating”; and The Boot described it as “haunting and timely”. The next year, Cashavelly wrote and recorded her second album, Hunger. After its release in 2018, Rolling Stone named her an “Artist to Watch”, calling the album “the atmospheric soundtrack to late-night fever dreams.” Glide said Hunger “paints an ominous portrait of the dark underbelly of American privilege”. She returned to West Virginia to perform in front of her family for the first time on NPR’s Mountain Stage. That same year, Cashavelly had what she calls a spiritual crisis and retreated to the woods, finding guidance from a shaman and a wilderness teacher who taught her primitive skills and how to survive on her own. She began to dance for the first time in many years, listening to her body in a new way. What emerged was a new record, METAMORPHOSIS, with music that morphed into a stirring indie Americana that released in October of 2021. She wrote a screenplay and co-produced, co-directed, choreographed, starred and danced in a feature film to accompany the album. Her feature film Metamorphosis won awards in the LA Independent Women Film Awards, the Montreal Independent Film Festival, the Women’s International Film Festival, and was an Official Selection of RiverRun International Film Festival, the Boston Independent Film Awards, the Berlin International Art Film Festival, and the Toronto International Women Film Festival. She is currently at work on her new project. In 2023, she received a North Carolina Arts Council Grant to complete it.