The board of The Woodford Theatre in Versailles has removed the word interim from executive and artistic director Trish Clark’s title. The former Paul Laurence Dunbar High School drama teacher and Lexington Shakespeare Festival artistic director has taken the permanent post at the theater, based in the Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center.
Clark succeeds Steve Arnold, who left the theater in October 2012 after just over a year in the post. He had succeeded retiring Beth Kirchner, who made the Versailles troupe one of the region’s premier community theaters during her 16-year run.
Since coming on as interim director, Clark programmed the theater’s current season, which continues this and the next two weekends with A Tuna Christmas. Most artistic directors make their first artistic contributions to their theaters directing shows, but Clark will take an on-stage turn in the next production, playing Veta Simmons in the February and March production of Mary Chase’s Harvey. The season will conclude in April and May with Big River, directed by Bo List, who is now the drama instructor at the Sayre School.
The Woodford Theatre has three full-time and four part-time employees on staff including business manager Mike Tuttle. Pioneer Playhouse adds more homegrown theater Danville’s Pioneer Playhouse has announced its 2014 season with a lineup that further advances the theater’s homegrown focus. Three out of the five shows on the season have Kentucky roots, and it will conclude with a comedy show by Lexington comedian Etta May.
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The season will open June 6 to 21 with Whodunnit, Darling? written by Georgetown screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue and actor Larry Drake, best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Benny on the NBC drama L.A. Law. The Nick and Nora Charles-style mystery premiered at Lexington’s Studio Players in 1993, and at the time, Pogue joked to the Herald-Leader that the 1930s homage could easily be titled Cocktails Over Corpses.
The season’s Kentucky world premiere, July 8 to 19, will also take you back in time, to the days when Harvard was seen as a college football powerhouse on par with Alabama these days. Pioneer Playhouse artistic director Robby Henson wrote The Wonder Team, about the 1921 Centre College football squad that shocked the nation when it broke Harvard ’s five-year winning streak.
That will be followed by Walking Across Egypt, July 22 to Aug. 2, Danville native Catherine Bush’s adaptation of Clyde Edgerton’s novel about a woman who finds purpose in caring for a stray dog. Bush got her start writing plays at Danville’s West T. Hill Community Theatre and is now the playwright-in-residence at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va. Her last script for Pioneer Playhouse was A Jarful of Fireflies, about the filming of Raintree County in Danville.
Rounding out the lineup are Is He Dead?, June 24 to July 5, David Ives’ adaptation of Mark Twain’s story about a French painter who tries to attain fortune and love by faking his own death, and A Visit From Scarface, Aug. 5 to 16, a story about a screenwriter who becomes a target of mobsters after writing a film about a notorious gangster. Scarface comes from V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger, the duo who wrote Dracula Bites and Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell!
The Etta May comedy weekend is Aug. 21 to 23.
Visit Pioneerplayhouse.com or call 1-866-597-5297 for more information and reservations.