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Little Colonel Players

Little Colonel’s trilogy of plays
to end with ‘Gulf View Drive’

Pewee Valley playhouse
enters 56th season of shows

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (December 2012) – Raleigh and May, a young pair of Kentuckians, were introduced to Pewee Valley last year in the play Last Train to Nibroc. These characters are returning for the finale of a trilogy of plays that will delight and entertain audiences in the ambiance of the Little Colonel Playhouse.
“ ‘Gulf View Drive’ has all the ingredients of good theatre – humor, drama, tension and the exploration of family relationships,” said Grace Poganski, who plays the part of Mrs. Brummett, May’s mother-in-law. It also has a Kentucky connection.

Gulf View Drive

Photo provided

The Little Colonel Players rehearse a scene from “Gulf View Drive,” set to open at the Playhouse on Dec. 6. Rehearsing are (from left) Kelly Patton, Garret Patton, Janet Morris, Kristina Ramsey and Grace Poganski, who bring the trials and family pressure and married love to life in Arlene Hutton’s last offering in the Nibroc Trilogy.

“The playwright, Arlene Hutton, had family who lived in Corbin, Ky., and the characters in her trilogy are based, in part, on relatives who lived there.”
This trio of plays began with “Last Train to Nibroc,” continued with “See Rock City” and concludes with “Gulf View Drive.” The first two plays brought the characters May and Raleigh to life. In the final play, the time frame has shifted from World War II to 1953, and the couple has married and moved south to Florida. Relatives descend upon the couple, testing the couple’s love, as they make unconventional decisions in a changing world.
“I think that any audience member who saw ‘Last Train to Nibroc’ last season will enjoy seeing May and Raleigh again and finding out what they are doing 10 years later,” said Martha Frazier, director of the play. “Even those who didn’t see ‘Last Train to Nibroc’ will enjoy the trip back to the 1950s with lots of period references and a really lovely, well-written script.”
This will be the third play Frazier has directed at the Little Colonel Playhouse. She is also vice president of the board of directors for the playhouse.
“My favorite part of directing is helping actors to pull apart and dig into the script to discover who they are and then watching the characters come to life as the actors work through the scenes,” she said. Frazier is employed on a contract basis as a teacher and director at the Oldham County School Arts Center, where she is currently directing “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Frazier said the Little Colonel Playhouse is known “for offering quality, family-friendly plays.” Now in its 56th season, “the longevity of Little Colonel Playhouse can be attributed to the fact that we offer our community an intimate theatre experience that is entertaining and affordable.” She said the board tries to choose plays that will appeal to their loyal subscriber base.
“Gulf View Drive” will run on Dec. 6-9 and Dec. 14-16. The 2012-2013 season opened in October with “The Last Romance.”
“The Little Colonel Playhouse has a long-standing history of entertaining generations of patrons,” said Poganski. “It is a great venue in which to perform. The playhouse offers an intimate space that makes connecting with the audience both easy and challenging.”
She said the audience expects the cast to be on top of their game. Due to the small space (the theatre only seats 103 people), being able to connect with the audience on a very real level and being continually challenged to meet their expectations, “makes for the best kind of acting experience.”
This venue is where Poganski will bring Mrs. Brummett to life. Her character has had a difficult life, running a sharecrop farm, raising two children and watching her husband become crippled. Poganski describes her as “a scrappy, hard edged character who survives by accepting her lot in life.”
Poganski, who is also a board member for the playhouse, said this is first time she has been directed by Frazier. “The skills she brings to directing are reflective of the work ethic and enthusiasm she brings to the board. Her intelligence and insight, and her willingness to allow actors to explore their characters, make for a great working relationship.”
Auditions will be held on Dec. 9-10 for “Across,” by playwright Jerry Meyer. Directed by George Bailey, the play centers on a man and a woman, two complete opposites, who board a San Francisco BART train at 4:30 a.m. As the ride progresses, both attack and sway each others values, having been changed for the better as the train ride ends.

• Tickets for “Gulf View Drive” are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors (60 and over) and students. To reserve, call (502) 588-1557 or visit: www.littlecolonel.org.

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