WKYT - Danville - Headlines

Pioneer Playhouse asking for volunteers after flooding

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

There's so much history at the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Kentucky. It's the third oldest outdoor theater in the country, and the oldest in Kentucky.

The Pioneer Playhouse has been in Charlotte Henson's family most of her life.

"My husband Eben started the playhouse 61 years ago", says Charlotte Henson with the Pioneer Playhouse.

Stars such as John Travolta, Lee Majors, and Jim Varney got their start at the outdoor theater early on, which this family has continued to dedicate their life too.

"I love the plays. I watch them every night so we hope to keep on", says Charlotte Henson.

However, flooding from the recent rain is causing a damper on their soon-to-be acting season.

"It came up about 4 1/2 feet or so. It went over my wade boots", says Holly Henson with the Pioneer Playhouse.

It's still weeks away before the actors show for the summer, but flooding has damaged sets, backgrounds, the ceiling of some rooms, and costumes.

"I'd say half are ruined and we had over 5,000 costumes. It's very challenging. I just finished 10 months of chemotherapy, my mom is almost 80 years old, and we're down to a skeleton crew this time of year", says Holly Henson.

It's why they're hoping the community will now step in, offering some help to get this theater back to normal so the show can go on.

"We love it and that's why we do it. If you stay around long enough you become an antique. We are in Kentucky's historic register and I'm very proud of that", says Charlotte Henson.

If you'd like to help, you can be at the Pioneer Playhouse from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. It's located at 840 Stanford Road in Danville, Kentucky. You can also reach them at (859) 236-2747. For more information, log onto www.pioneerplayhouse.com.


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