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Read the Advocate-Messenger’s Rave Review of “Death By Darkness”

Pioneer Playhouse opens with "Kentucky Voices" mystery

Pioneer Playhouse’s production of “Death By Darkness” received a front-page rave review written by AMnews editor Ben Kleppinger:

If you’ve never been on a tour of Mammoth Cave, it’s a truly fascinating experience. It’s eerie and beautiful at the same time; it will just as quickly haunt you as it will amaze you.

The same can be said for the first performance of Pioneer Playhouse’s 2017 season, “Death by Darkness.” The play is the first of two Kentucky Voices plays this year and is written by notable local playwright Elizabeth Orndorff.

“Death by Darkness” is set entirely inside Mammoth Cave, in a pre-Civil War Kentucky when outright slavery of black people was still ubiquitous.

A slave who works as a cave guide, Stephen Bishop (Joshua Jerome), guides a small, eclectic band of tourists into the heart of the cave, the star chamber. That’s where personalities begin to clash and true identities are revealed. Before it’s over, there will be more than one death.

As the lights came up and the audience fell silent on opening night, a pair of bats circled in the air above, chasing down insects for their evening meal. It was a perfect accompaniment for the play that you wouldn’t get anywhere else but an outdoor theater.

“Death by Darkness” does a remarkable job of mimicking an actual cave in how the story flows. There are open, expansive scenes where the characters spread across the stage and light is shed on who they are; there are dark and confusing moments, when you’re not sure where things are headed; there a few scares that you don’t see coming.

Read the rest at the AMNews web site…