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AMNews: Pioneer Playhouse Kicks Off 68th season with a Murder…or Two

From Monday’s Advocate-Messenger:

Pioneer Playhouse of Danville is celebrating 68 years of theatre under the stars this summer, and they’re kicking off the 2017 season on Friday, June 9 with something a little different from the usual light, comedic fare. This year, Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theatre will be opening with “Death by Darkness,” an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery set in the depths of Mammoth Cave in 1842.

Pioneer Playhouse opens with "Kentucky Voices" mystery

Pioneer Playhouse opens with “Kentucky Voices” mystery

“Death by Darkness” was written by Danville native Elizabeth Orndorff. The play took Best Play and Best Playwright Awards at the International Mystery Writers Festival in 2007. It also won its author a coveted Southern Playwrights Competition Award, as well as a Kentucky Arts Council Award.

Although Orndorff had been a fiction writer and journalist for many years, she had never tried her hand at playwriting before deciding to enter the International Mystery Writers contest.

“The idea of writing a mystery play was intriguing, and the whopping big prize money ($10,000) guaranteed I would come up with something to enter,” says Orndorff. “But I had never written a mystery before, or a full length play. I knew it would have to be a ‘history’ play since I didn’t want to deal with cell phones and computers and DNA forensics.”

“Death by Darkness” was first produced at Pioneer Playhouse in 2008, and is back this year by popular demand.

“There are some plays that patrons ask for again and again, and Liz’s cave play is one of them,” says managing director, Heather Henson, daughter of Pioneer Playhouse founder, Col. Eben. C. Henson.

The play’s revival also has to do with the fact that Pioneer Playhouse is celebrating 10 years of producing its Kentucky Voices series of original plays celebrating Kentucky history, heritage and culture.

Read the rest at the AMNews web site…