Department of Parks
One-Woman Dramas Will Mark Black History Month at Kentucky State Parks
Three Kentucky state parks will feature dramatic presentations in February in commemoration of Black History Month.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park in Greenup and John James Audubon State Park in Henderson will host one-woman performances by Kentucky Chautauqua presenter Erma J. Bush. All three performances are supported in part by the Kentucky Humanities Council.
The Moonbow Dinner Theater performance at Cumberland Falls set for 7 p.m. Saturday Feb. 7, 2009 is “Miss Dinnie Thompson: No Ordinary Woman.”
An overnight package for $115 includes dinner, theater, and lodge room for two. Dinner and theater-only packages cost $30 per person.
Miss Dinnie Thompson was a workaday person who was never rich or famous. But, as a representative of all those black women who worked to make a living in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries despite prejudice and hardship, she is anything but ordinary. Miss Dinnie was born a slave in the household of a member of Louisville’s renowned Speed family. Her mother was a freedom-loving woman who hid Dinnie away on several attempts to cross the Ohio River. They were caught each time.
After emancipation in 1865, Miss Dinnie worked for thirty years as a laundress. Then, for twenty-six years, she was a maid at Louisville’s Neighborhood House, which helped European immigrants adapt to American life. There, she became friends with a young social worker named Elizabeth Wilson. Through their friendship, Miss Dinnie Thompson’s extraordinary story has been preserved as a testimony to the memory of thousands of “ordinary” women like her.
For more information about this performance, contact Steve Gilbert at 606-528-4125 ext. 414. For reservations call toll-free1-800-325-0063.
At Greenbo Lake State Resort Park and Audubon State Park, Erma Bush will perform the one-woman drama “Margaret Garner: Death Before Slavery,” the story of an enslaved black mother who ran away with her husband and children, was captured but killed her young daughter rather than allow her to be returned to bondage. Her story, which drew national attention to Kentucky at the time, more recently inspired Toni Morrison’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved” and a 2005 opera entitled “Margaret Garner”.
On Saturday Feb. 14, Greenbo Lake will feature Bush’s performance, along with the park’s Black History Exhibit Feb. 13-14. The exhibit presents the history of everyday people in Henderson, Ky., African Americans living in post-Civil War Kentucky and documents and photographs dealing with Civil Rights. The dramatic program will begin at 8 p.m. in the Greenbo Lake Conference Center and is free to the public.
For more information contact Paul Verespy at 606-473-7324 or 800-325-0083.
At Audubon State Park, Bush will perform “Margaret Garner: Death before Slavery” on Saturday Feb. 21 from 2-3 p.m. at the Audubon Museum. The program is free to the public. In 2008, Bush performed to a standing-room only crowd. She returns this year to present the life of another remarkable Chautauqua character. Margaret's story and her desperate attempt for freedom became a rallying call for the abolition of slavery. Due to mature content, this compelling performance would not be suitable for small children.
For more information contact Alan Gehret at 270-826-2247 or email@example.com.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is 20 miles southwest of Corbin. Take US 25W to KY 90. From I-75 south, take exit 25. From I-75 north, take exit 15.
Greenbo Lake State Resort Park is on KY 1, 18 miles north of I-64 from the Grayson exit or 8 miles south of U.S. 23 (The Country Music Highway) on KY 1.
Audubon State Park is located at 3100 US Highway 41 North in Henderson.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov