Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 26, 2013

Pioneer Playhouse reveals lineup for next year

Lee Ward
The Independent

DANVILLE — Pioneer Playhouse will celebrate 65 years of bringing theater to the bluegrass this summer with an exciting lineup of shows that includes three original plays with strong Kentucky ties.

‰The 2014 season will open June 6 to 21 with “Whodunnit, Darling?” written by Georgetown screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue (“The Fly;” “Dragonheart”) and by actor Larry Drake, best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Benny on the NBC drama “L.A. Law.” This Nick and Nora Charles-style mystery-comedy with an emphasis on comedy is set in a 1930s dude ranch and features the kind of quirky cast of characters Playhouse audiences have come to know and love over the years.

‰“The Wonder Team,” scheduled  July 8 through 19, will be the season’s original Kentucky Voices offering. Kentucky Voices is an annual program celebrating local history, legend or lore. “The Wonder Team” was written by Robby Henson, artistic director of Pioneer Playhouse and an award-winning filmmaker. The play is a David vs. Goliath sports saga of how Centre College’s football team beat the odds and captured the hearts and headlines of a nation in a 1921 game against Harvard that is still considered one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

‰Danville native Catherine Bush is next up from July 22 through Aug. 2 with her adaptation of the best-selling Clive Edgerton novel “Walking Across Egypt.” This is a heartwarming Southern tale of how an elderly woman finds purpose and renews her faith by taking in a troubled teen. Bush is  the playwright-in-residence at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va.

‰Rounding out the 2014 season will be “Is He Dead?” June 24 through  July 5, a newly published farce written by Mark Twain and adapted by David Ives, which follows the misadventures of a gifted young artist living in Paris in 1846 who decides to fake his own death to raise the value of his paintings.

‰The final regular play of the summer will be “A Visit From Scarface” Aug. 5 through 16, a screw-ball comedy about a screenwriter who becomes the target of mobsters after writing a film about a notorious gangster. The play is by V. Cate and Duke Ernsberger, the duo behind the hits “Dracula Bites” and “Don’t Cry for Me Margaret Mitchell.”

‰A special comedy weekend, Aug. 21 through 23, will feature comedian Etta May and will close out the historic theater’s 65th season under the stars.


Pioneer Playhouse is at 840 Stanford Road. Shows run nightly at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday beginning June 7. A Kentucky Proud menu is available before the show at 7:30 pm.

For reservations and information, call (866) 597-5297 or visit pioneerplayhouse.com.