Arts and Entertainment

The nine acts of “The Kentucky Cycle”

Austin Bennett plays the role of Zachariah Rowen, Robert Bergin is Patrick Rowen, and Nathaniel Whitehouse is Ezekiel Rowen in
Austin Bennett plays the role of Zachariah Rowen, Robert Bergin is Patrick Rowen, and Nathaniel Whitehouse is Ezekiel Rowen in 'The Kentucky Cycle.
— image credit: Diane Walker photo

Bainbridge Performing Arts presents “The Kentucky Cycle,” an epic in two parts, from March 14 through March 30.

Winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize, this sweeping epic of three families in eastern Kentucky spans 200 years of American history from 1775 to 1975. Fast-paced and finely drawn, Robert Schenkkan’s stunning cycle examines the myths of the American past which have created, for better or for worse, the country we are today using nine individual stories to trace the last 200 years through the saga of the Rowens, a fictional clan that scrapes and schemes to keep its hold on land it originally acquired by duping Cherokee Indians out of the their hunting ground.

The nine acts:

“Masters of the Trade,” Michael Rowen deceives the Native Americans, gaining land and causing the tribe’s death.

“Courtship of Morning Star,” Michael Rowen kidnaps and rapes Morning Star, producing a son, Patrick.

“The Homecoming,” Patrick Rowen kills Joe Talbert and claims Rebecca Talbert as his wife, starting a cycle of revenge between the two families.

“Ties That Bind,” Patrick Rowen, deeply in debt, loses all he owns to the Talberts and becomes a sharecropper on his own land.

“God’s Great Supper,” Jed Rowen recounts his haunting experiences in the Civil War, including his family’s successful revenge against the Talberts as well as his encounters with William Clarke Quantrill.

“Tall Tales,” J.T. Wells, a smooth-talking man working for the coal companies swindles the Rowens out of their land.

“Fire in the Hole,” a union organizer attempts to rally Mary Anne Rowen’s family and fellow miners into striking against the Blue Star Mining Company.

“Which Side Are You On?” an underhanded deal between the union and the Blue Star Mining Company pits Joshua Rowen, James Talbert Winston, and Franklin Biggs against each other.

“The War On Poverty,” three descendants of the Rowen, Talbert, and Biggs lines find something unexpected buried on the original Rowen homestead, shortly before they are to sell the land forever.

‘The Kentucky Cycle’:

What: A nine-part Pulitzer Prize winning dramatic play presented in two parts.

When: Friday, March 14 to Sunday, March 30

Part I, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays

Part II, 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays

Where: Bainbridge Performing Arts (200 Madison Ave. North)

Admission: $27 for adults, $22 for seniors and $19 for students, youth, military and teachers.

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