The Kentucky Cycle: Free Community Outreach Events begin February 28

Bainbridge Performing Arts presents
The Kentucky Cycle: Free Community Outreach Events
Beginning with “The Dark Side of the American Dream”
February 28 at the Bainbridge Public Library @ 7:00 p.m.

Thanks to a grant from Humanities Washington, whose mission it is to spark conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, Bainbridge Performing Arts has prepared a free community outreach series for The Kentucky Cycle. The public series opens with a discussion with retired BHS American Studies teacher Ralph Cheadle and director Kate Carruthers on February 28, Winter’s Bone – a film screening and discussion on March 5, and a presentation by Robert Schenkkan, 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.

February 28: The Kentucky Cycle – The Dark Side of the American Dream 7 p.m. Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island Ralph Cheadle, retired Bainbridge High School American Studies teacher, and Kate Carruthers, director of the upcoming Bainbridge Performing Arts production of The Kentucky Cycle, discuss how the play both draws upon and illuminates 200 years of American history and mythology.

March 5: Winter’s Bone – Film Screening and Discussion 7 p.m., Bainbridge Public Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island The 2010 award-winning film, Winter’s Bone, 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. Starring Jennifer Lawrence. Rated R for some drug material, language and violent content. Director Kate Carruthers 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 of Winter’s Bone.

March 20: An Evening with Playwright Robert Schenkkan 7:30 p.m. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island 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 his current two-play project about President Lyndon B. Johnson and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: All the Way, which is opening on Broadway in February, and The Great Society, premiering at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer.

BPA is grateful to Humanities Washington for its generous grant in support of outreach programs for The Kentucky Cycle. Humanities Washington is a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Bainbridge Performing Arts extends special thanks to The Kentucky Cycle Title Sponsor PHC Construction and Media Sponsor KUOW 94.9 FM Public Radio. BPA is supported, in part, by Bainbridge Community Foundation and One Call for All.

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