HAZARD — On Saturday’s eleventh annual Summer in the Park, the young actors of The Little Theatre of Hazard made their sparkling and costumed entrance parading through the center of the crowd in the grassy outdoor theatre of Bobby Davis Park.
Activities were all for free and supported by the Appalachian Arts Alliance, InVision Hazard and the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. The festival put on a display of local talent all over the park all afternoon. The event transformed the multi-leveled park into multiple stages to inspire attendees to become artists themselves.
Walking from the hotdogs on sale by the museum to the stage, you ran into artist Beth Wicker leading the interactive creation of a bright, flowery mural made into a fold-up mobile work.
The trumpeting music and family cheers began the main feature play: the familiar story of the princess Snow White awaiting her destined prince. From there, the play took its own plot lines to feature no dwarves, but the Seven Thieves: Snarly, Creepy, Meany, Nasty, Sneaky, Loathsome and Slightly Unpleasant.
Leading up to “Snow White & the Seven Robbers,” the theatrics began with “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” also directed by Terry Thies, who thanked the audience for coming in through the heat and thanked God for stopping the rain. “Just so you know, prayer works,” she said with a smile after all the sweat of the summer-long play practices.
The Hazard Middle School Speech Team put on a comical rehash of American sit-coms from the 1950’s forward, impressively imitating various TV accents. With their dancing notebooks punctuating their lines, they said, “No other genre has reflected the nothing part of America quite like the sit-com, and the sit-com was and still is all in the family.” The team had earlier won 1st and 2nd places in “group interpretation” in the Kentucky speech competitions.
While the Pathfinder’s scavenger hunt taught kids the names of herbs from the garden, musician and singer Lindsey Branson played with her Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music band. One of Branson’s own songs sang proudly of her home in Perry County with a chorus: “it’s not the best; it’s better than the rest.”
Sarah Cumming is the VISTA for the Appalachian Arts Alliance.