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SKCTC playing key role in production of play Magic Man, slated for performances in September at venues in Middlesboro and Pineville

SKCTC playing key role in production of play Magic Man, slated for performances in September at venues in Middlesboro and Pineville

The Middlesboro Little Theatre group in conjunction with Southeast Kentucky Community amp; Technical College will soon present Magic Man: The Fall of David Grant Colson. The play, based on the life of a Bell County figure, is the second in a series of full-length local history plays written by Southeast Professor Amy Oden Simpson in conjunction with the Bowling Family History Project.

David Grant Colson (1861-1904) was the seventh child of John Colson, better known as the Patriarch of Yellow Creek Valley. A successful lawyer, banker and landowner, the younger Colson became Middlesboros mayor in a landslide victory following the economic bust of the 1890s. Soon after, he was elected to the United States Congress representing Kentuckys 11th district. After an ill-fated decision to vacate his seat in order to serve in the Spanish-American War, Colson became embroiled in a bitter dispute that began his fall from grace, including a murder trial and his premature death at age 43 .

The story of David Grant Colson works well as a play because he represents the classic tragic hero, says Simpson. He is a character that we both admire and pity because despite his many talents, he cannot prevent his own downfall.

The veteran cast includes John Bradley as David Grant Colson and Jonathan Spires as his nemesis, Ethelbert Dudley Scott. Robin Swisher will play Colsons mother Catherine, and Vonda Earle will play his love interest Ethel Elliot. Rounding out the cast is James-Clifton Spires as General Ferguson. Judy Cox will serve as stage manager with Cheryl Black assisting.

As theatre-goers will learn, Simpson has kept true to the main events while taking a few liberties to adapt the story for the stage. Our goal is to honor David Grant Colsons truth while creating a drama that works, Simpson explained. While the audience should understand that the play is not a History Channel documentary, we ultimately allow our antagonist to have the final word.

Performances will be Friday-Sunday, September 2, 3, amp; 4 at the Middlesboro Arts Auditorium; Wednesday-Friday, September 7, 8, amp; 9, at the Bell Theatre in Pineville. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

For more information, call or text MLT director Amy Oden Simpson at 606/499-4060. Also, like us on Facebook!