Bill Forsyth drives 500 miles round trip every other Thursday from Pikeville to Horse Cave to attend Kentucky Repertory Theatre’s playwright’s workshop.

“I usually get home between 3 and 4 a.m. Catch an hour’s sleep and then it’s off to work again,” he said.

Forsyth, a businessman, learned about KRT through a friend at the Music Theater in Louisville, who referred him to Liz Fentress, who conducts the playwright’s workshop for KRT.

“Mrs. Fentress is highly regarded by theaters throughout the state, so I knew this was a rare opportunity,” he said.

By attending the workshop, Forsyth gained knowledge that helped him write the play, “LYNCHkNOT.”

He wrote the play for the challenge it presented.

“The script is based on a historic tragedy that involved thousands of people,” he said. “It is the playwright’s task to bring that story to life using only a handful of actors. He must also compress five days of history into 90 minutes of time.”

Forsyth’s inspiration to write the play is based on one pivotal moment in American history, he said.

“The premise is simple. On Feb. 9, 1920, an angry mob, thousands strong, surrounded the Fayette County Courthouse. The object of their wrath is Will Lockett, a young black farmhand accused of murder,” he said. “If federal troops do not arrive from Louisville in time, Sheriff J. Waller Rodes knows there will be a lynching.”

“LYNCHkNOT” will be a featured play in the theater’s Kentucky Voices program.

“Kentucky Voices is an opportunity to have new plays read publicly,” Donna Freeburn, educational director for KRT, said. “We focus on plays about Kentucky, or plays written by Kentucky playwrights. It’s basically for these playwrights to get feedback on their work.”

“LYNCHkNOT” is scheduled to be read on Saturday, April 29, at 2 p.m. The reading is open to the public.

“So anyone can come and listen to some new plays and after each reading there will be a discussion time for the audience to talk to the playwright,” Freeburn said.

The fact that Forsyth’s play is scheduled to be read, he said, gives him “butterflies.”

“I’m wondering how many characters will sound when I hear them ‘speak’ for the first time,” he said.

“Intersection,” by Ken Anderson, a play about two National Guardsmen who find themselves enforcing a post-Katrina curfew in the French Quarter of New Orleans, is also scheduled to be read at 2 p.m. on April 29.

Set to be read at 7 p.m. on April 29 is “Going Up Home” by E.K. Larken.

“Going Up Home” is a play about two double-first-cousins united by affection, loss, joy and regret who call upon memory and generational influences to support each other through a traumatic time.

“Nobody” by Hannah Logsdon will be read on April 30 at 2 p.m., as well as “Throwaway” by Sallie Bingham. “Temporary Removal or The Trojan Women” will be read at 7 p.m.

For more information about Kentucky Voices, call the theater at (270) 786-2177.


Trending Video

Recommended for you