Pioneer Playhouse Opens 75th Season with Big Laughs!

Pioneer Playhouse of Danville, Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theatre, opens for its 75th Season on June 7 with The 39 Steps, a zany comedy based on the classic Hitchcock movie about spies chasing spies, mistaken identity, and good old-fashioned romance.

“We love this show,” says Robby Henson, son of founder Eben Henson, artistic director of Pioneer Playhouse, and director of the historic theatre’s first play of its milestone season. “We presented it 12 years ago, and audiences loved it. We decided to bring it back to celebrate our 75th. It’s so well-written. It’s a perfect show for our audiences. Lots of running around, lots of big laughs. Very high energy.”

The 39 Steps (June 7- June 29) was originally adapted into a taught thriller by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1930s from a book by John Buchan. It was one of Hitchcock’s early films and follows the plight of an ordinary man who suddenly gets mistaken for a British spy and must go to extreme lengths to prove his innocence. In 2005, playwright Patrick Barlow gave a comic twist to the story, and the popular play later went on to win two Tony Awards.

“The laughter is truly non-stop,” says Heather Henson, sister to Robby, and Managing Director of Pioneer Playhouse. “A handful of actors play over a hundred different characters; there’s an on-stage plane crash; there’s just tons of silliness. It’s perfect for all ages.”

The 39 Steps runs nightly, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The show begins at 8:30, but an optional homecooked dinner is served before the show.

“Our original BBQ Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken is back by popular demand,” says Heather. “It’s only $40 for a homemade dinner and a play by professional actors. We keep our prices low because we want folks to come out and be able to see a live show, and experience what Pioneer Playhouse has been doing for 75 years!”

Pioneer Playhouse is also offering something a little different this year: a 75th Anniversary Gala on June 15.

“No show that night, just a big glam and glitzy party,” says Robby. “Comedian Joe Deuce will be our MC, and Michael Fly and the Sounds will provide the dance music. We’ll have awards and alumni sharing memories of their time at the Playhouse. It’s going to be a blast.”

The 75th Anniversary Gala on June 15 from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm is sponsored by Farmers National Bank. There will be dinner, drinks and a bar serving alcohol to those 21 years and older. The cost is $75 per person and may be purchased online or through the box office.

Pioneer Playhouse is located at 840 Stanford Road in Danville. Reservations are required in advance for the 7:30 dinner; suggested for the 8:30 show. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 859-236-2747.

There will be a special ASL-Interpreted production for the Deaf and Hard

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