The Bluegrass Children’s Theatre (BCT) is currently touring with a production of “Yellow Banks,” a play about Owensboro history.
“It’s a play about writing down the stories in your family to record the past so that we can tell these stories in the future,” said Founder and Artistic Director of BCT Grae Greer.
Audiences will meet Bill Smothers, Joseph Hamilton Daviess, Mary Benton Fitts and Katherine Fuqua Rudy as part of the production.
“Roy Burlew, Hannah Severens, the immigrants that moved here for all the job opportunities, and the hard workers at General Electrics are also mentioned,” Greer said.
According to Greer, many hours were spent at the Kentucky Room in the Daviess County Public Library and at the Owensboro Science and History Museum to create this production.
“Owensboro history isn’t a topic that you can easily Google, so checking out books and talking to people in the community was the only way we could write down the correct information,” Greer said.
“Yellow Banks” actors between the ages of 6 and 18 are touring with this production and visiting schools, daycares and the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls club as part of bringing Owensboro history to the community.
“I chose to do Owensboro history because we’re an educational touring company,” Greer said. “We knew we’d be touring to schools and wanted to provide an educational experience that the students could relate to and expand on. At the end of each play, we give the students a pencil to encourage them to go home, talk to their family and write down their own history.”
Other opportunities to see “Yellow Banks” are Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. at the Daviess County Public Library, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. at Heritage Assisted Living and Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. at Century Christian Church.
At the heart of the theatre is the mission to create imaginative and educational experiences by young people for young people in our community, according to Greer.
Seanna Haynes has been with BCT since September 2018 and believes the positivity of the students and directors has changed her life
Christa Hill, another BCT actor, enjoys being a part of the group because it is “not like a normal theatre company.” She said there are more opportunities to reach out to the audience and the cast is smaller and closer, more like a family.
Greer said that auditions are quite simple for BCT plays. Interested actors are given the opportunity to look at the audition materials a week in advance, and on audition day, the actors warm up with the director prior to the audition.
“Auditions last about four hours and we don’t have callbacks. The decision is made that day and we have our first read through hours after the cast list is posted,” Greer said.
Their next show, “Arabian Nights,” will be a summer touring play that is set in the round.
“[This atmosphere] encourages the audience to play instruments with the actors to help the magic carpet fly and become characters in the production,” Greer said.
Auditions for “Arabian Nights” are May 18 at Century Christian Church. More information can be found on the Bluegrass Children’s Theatre Facebook page.