HORSE CAVE, Ky. (AP) — Young actors from Glasgow are mourning the loss of Kentucky Repertory Theatre at Horse Cave, saying they got their start at the theater in a program for young performers.
Brent Morrison and Jordan Gosnell told the Glasgow Daily Times (http://bit.ly/WKdEsp) that they have fond memories of working at the theater.
Morrison said he was "heartbroken" at word the theater was closing, noting that he had worked there last year and had planned to return this year.
"It is pretty terrible," he said. "I think Glasgow, Bowling Green, Horse Cave and all the counties surrounding it have really lost something special."
Theater board president Lyn Taylor Long announced the closing of the theater this month. Long said there wasn't enough funding to keep it open.
The theater launched its Young Performers program, where the actors got their start, in 1999 after hiring Robert Brock as its education director.
"I had been out doing a lot of workshops in schools all around the surrounding counties and just saw hardly any of the schools had drama programs," Brock said. "We thought we could be the answer."
The first presentation was Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
"I had just enough people to cast the show," Brock said. "I know we had people from Barren, Hart, Warren, Edmonson and Metcalfe counties that first year, and then it started to grow."
He said several students who participated in the program went on to attend the Governor's School of Arts.
One of those students was Morrison, who said his experiences at the Kentucky Repertory Theatre motivated him to pursue a career in acting.
"It has every positive effect I ever had to pursue (acting)," Morrison said. "It was the driving force behind it. It was the best learning experience . and the most fun I've had."
Gosnell, who is working as a stand-in for Hayden Panettiere on ABC's television drama "Nashville," also said her experience with the Young Performers program at Kentucky Repertory Theatre "was pivotal" in her decision to pursue a career in acting.
"I had always been interested in acting. It seemed like such an adventurous and amazing career to have," she said. "Robert Brock gave me that with my first play at 16 in 'Our Town.' It changed my life. It showed me that I did have the ability that I thought I had."
Information from: Glasgow Daily Times, http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com