Celebrating 50 Years of Community Theater

Little Colonel Playhouse takes center stage

September open house to include
reunion, documentary, theater tours

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

September 2006 Kentucky Edition Cover

September 2006
Kentucky Edition Cover

PEWEE VALLEY, Ky. (September 2006) – John and Velma Vaughan met 34 years ago at the Little Colonel Playhouse in Pewee Valley. John, 49, had a part in “Vacancy in Paradise,” and Velma was on the set crew. Romance blossomed and after 28 years of marriage, the Vaughans are still attached to the place where they first met.
“It’s a great place to use your talent,” said Velma Vaughan, 54. “A lot of people don’t have the time to pursue a career in this field. It’s a great creative outlet.”
Although not as active as they used to be, Vaughan said it’s always been fun for the whole family. Their children became involved and participated in summer productions. As with most Little Colonel Playhouse members, the Vaughans have served in a variety of ways, including acting, set design and cooking for the opening season dinner theatre nights.
Participation has been good for the Vaughans on “lots of levels,” she said. It’s a great experience for entire families and for non-professional actors. “Its for the love of the art that you’re out there.”
She first attended the playhouse with her family at age 13. Her parents were friends with Phil Hollenback, a veteran actor from Louisville who was the playhouse’s first director. Hollenback convinced Vaughan’s mother to bring the family to a performance. Her father became an actor and, naturally, the family always tagged along.

Phil and Margaret Hollenbach

Photos courtesy of Bill Baker, Little Colonel Playhouse

Phil and Margaret
Hollenbach were
instrumental in getting
the theater going back in
the 1950s. Phil provided
the experience the troupe needed and directed 49
plays over the next 20
years. Without him the Playhouse would have
never succeeded, says longtime member
Bill Baker.

“It involves everybody. You don’t have to be an actor,” said Vaughan. “You can find something that works for you.” In their years spent at the playhouse, “We made friends for life.”
The Vaughans will take part in activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Little Colonel Playhouse. On Sept. 15, an Open House is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tours will be given of the theater by board members who will share the building’s historical background. Visitors can see what improvements have been made over the years, ask questions and enjoy refreshments.
On Sept. 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. a 50th Anniversary Gala will be held next door at St. Aloysius Church, 212 Mount Mercy Dr. This location was chosen because it can hold more people than the theater, said board member Bethany Morse. “We will have people flying in from all over,” she said.
This semi-formal gala will include a buffet. This evening of reminiscing will include different presentations that will recognize members for various accomplishments. A presentation of the upcoming season will be presented. The 50th anniversary season includes one show from each decade of the playhouse’s history.
“It will be a great evening to get in touch with members you haven’t seen in a long time,” said Morse. She has been on the board of directors for a season and a half.
A special DVD highlighting the history of the LCP has been produced by long-time playhouse member Bill Baker. It will be shown during the evening.
Baker and his wife, Lynn, became involved with the playhouse in 1975.

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