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Series kicks off soon for ‘The Kentucky Cycle’
Bainbridge Performing Arts will present a free community outreach series for “The Kentucky Cycle.”
The public series opens with a discussion with retired Bainbridge High American Studies teacher Ralph Cheadle and director Kate Carruthers on Feb. 28; “Winter’s Bone,” a film screening and discussion on March 5; and a presentation by Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Kentucky Cycle” on March 20.
The outreach efforts will culminate in three weekends of performances of the epic play March 12–30 at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
At the event at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 at the library, Cheadle and Carruthers will present “The Kentucky Cycle – The Dark Side of the American Dream.” The pair will discuss how the play both draws upon and illuminates 200 years of American history and mythology.
The screening and discussion of the film “Winter’s Bone” starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 at the Bainbridge Public Library.
The 2010 award-winning film is set in modern day rural Kentucky. It is a bleakly realistic drama about a community decimated by poverty and hopelessness, yet bound together by deep ties of class, gender and blood. Like “The Kentucky Cycle,” “Winter’s Bone” examines a culture where people set their own rules and keep to themselves. Yet, also like the play, the ending is hopeful: Even in the worst situations, there are always a few good people.
The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and is rated R for some drug material, language and violent content. Carruthers, director of the BPA production, will introduce the film audience to “The Kentucky Cycle,” while the Bainbridge Public Library’s film expert, Patrick Gulke, will moderate the post-film discussion.
“An Evening with Playwright Robert Schenkkan” concludes the series of special events at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20 at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
Robert Schenkkan, author of “The Kentucky Cycle,” will discuss the importance of history as a dramatic tool for illuminating the issues of our own time. He will also describe how “The Kentucky Cycle” evolved from a one-act play in 1984 to the epic six-hour masterpiece that premiered at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre in 1991.
In addition, Schenkkan will talk about “All the Way,” his current two-play project about President Lyndon B. Johnson and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is opening on Broadway in February, and “The Great Society,” premiering at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer.
The series is funded with a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide nonprofit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Washington aims to spark conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst.