Matewan acting troupe hopes to fund amphitheater

MATEWAN, W.Va. (AP) - The group re-enacts the Matewan massacre every summer is trying to raise $100,000 for a 500-seat amphitheater that would also host Hatfield and McCoy dramas.

Donna May Paterino has directed the actors for 12 seasons and says the number of patrons surged by more than 1,500 this year. She credits the "Hatfields & McCoys" miniseries that aired this spring on the History Channel.

Delegate Harry Keith White helped secure $10,000 in seed money for the amphitheater project. Paterino is seeking grants, too, but says she's a long way from her goal.

She says the troupe needs space to store its sets and a more comfortable way to seat patrons, who currently bring lawn chairs. The battle of Matewan occurred May 19, 1920, between Baldwin-Felts agents and striking coal miners. Twelve men died.

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