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Little Colonel Players

First play of trilogy
to premier in Pewee Valley

Frazier to direct
the two-person performance

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (December 2011) – Even though Martha Frazier has been involved in theater for quite some time, she says she thoroughly enjoys her new role as director. She is directing a nostalgic play she says will entertain and appeal to many audience members’ emotions, taking them back to a simpler time to get a break from the hectic holiday season.
Frazier has been a part of the Little Colonel Playhouse located on Mt. Mercy Dr. in Pewee Valley for a couple of years now. She had previously acted in a few plays at the playhouse, and she “would like to do more.”
The Crestwood resident has also directed summer youth shows at the Little Colonel Playhouse. Children’s acting workshops are sponsored three times a year at the playhouse for children ages 7 to 14.

Kelly and Garret Patton

Photo Provided

Actors Kelly and Garret Patton
perform a scene from
“Last Train to Nibroc.”

She currently teaches a drama class at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center for children ages 9 to 17, in addition to conducting freelance film work on local projects. She has three children of her own.
Born in California, Frazier referred to herself as a “Navy brat” who had lived all over while growing up. She has been involved in theatre in other places where she has lived before coming to Kentucky. Frazier was assistant director of the Southeast Christian Easter Pageant for 10 years.
She initially became involved with the playhouse because “I really like the people. I was asked to be on the board, and then the play reading committee.”
From the moment she read “Last Train to Nibroc,” she “just fell in love with it.” Frazier specifically looked for a play with a small cast because this meant less set changes for the small theater, and “it is a busy time of the year to get a cast together, anyway.”
“Last Train to Nibroc” will be performed on Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 9-11. Thursday dinner seating (opening night) for all shows is 6:45 p.m. with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.
Frazier says “Last Train to Nibroc” will appeal to many individuals because “it is by a Kentucky author, is nostalgic and is a relationship piece,” she said. The play is about a couple in their 20s played by Louisville area actors Garret and Kelly Patton. Frazier said that not a lot of people turned out for auditions, but of the ones who did “were really good actors.”
Knowing she had to get two really good actors was “a challenge for me as a director,” said Frazier, 43. She cautions, “This is not a Christmas play. The first scene takes place just after Christmas.”

Frazier

Frazier

“Last Train to Nibroc” was written by Arlene Hutton. It is set in December 1940 on an eastbound train that is carrying the bodies of writers Nathaniel West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The only two passengers aboard are May, who aspires to become a missionary, and Raleigh, who has just been handed a medical discharge.
Raleigh aspires to become a writer and is headed to New York to fulfill his dream. While on the train, the couple discovers they are from neighboring Appalachian towns. Before the journey is over, Raleigh switches trains to head back to Kentucky. He promises to take May to the next Nibroc Festival.
“The play has a Kentucky connection. Nibroc is actually Corbin spelled backward,” said Bill Baker, board member for the Little Colonel Playhouse. “It’s a charming little play.”
The three-day Nibroc Festival is held annually in downtown Corbin, Ky. Entertainment, crafts, food, two parades, carnival rides and a host of other activities complete the festival.
Baker said “Last Train to Nibroc” is typical of the plays performed at the Little Colonel Playhouse. The play reading committee tries “to come up with a mix of plays for each season.”
A regular season of plays at the playhouse consists of five plays performed from September to June, said Baker. “Last Train to Nibroc” is part of a trilogy of plays that may be brought to the playhouse in the future, he said.
The consecutive two plays place the same main characters in their 40s and 60s. “It would be fun to follow,” said Frazier of the trilogy.
Depending upon the play, it “normally takes five to six weeks to practice,” said Baker. “Something to Hide” will be performed in February; “An American Daughter” will be performed in April; and the season will wrap up with “In the Rest Room at Rosenbloom’s” in June.

• For more information, contact the Little Colonel Playhouse at (502) 241-9906 or visit www.LittleColonel.org. To make reservations call (502) 588-1557.

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