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Small Budget, Big Memories: Small-town School Productions, Kentucky

As told by Students at Trimble County High School
Bedford, Kentucky

Story Narrative:

A woman with a red sweatshirt on sits in a director chair on a stage.

Students in a media class at Trimble County High School in Bedford, Kentucky, partnered with Trimble County Public Library to create digital projects about their town and its local history. As part of the Stories: Yes storytelling initiative, students collaborated on four video projects exploring topics such as sports, theater, farming, and crime in their small town.

Erin Liter (00:14): ... was a thing. We didn't have a sound system back then. So we were using handheld mics suspended from the ceiling at that point, which was a challenge. But all that being said, opening night was fine, but everyone thought they did crappy, so everyone went home feeling terrible.

Erin Liter (00:38): Second night was better, but closing night we had a full house. There wasn't an empty seat in the audience and my female lead came off stage from one of her solo songs and I just remember her saying to me, "That was so much fun."

Erin Liter (00:55): Leadership actually usually comes from students themselves, from seniors and that leadership defines what the club is like. So, this year I am super excited to say I have a group of fantastic seniors, and I'm hoping that we get to accomplish a lot this year because I'm hoping the environment and the culture of the club really blossoms.

Speaker 2 (01:21): Right. Do you remember all of the productions that you were in?

Rita Brown McKay (01:24): Yes. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2 (01:25): What were they?

Rita Brown McKay (01:27): I was in when the middle school... Well, the middle school was here when I was here and the first one I guess, was It's Cold in Them Thar Hills. Okay, it was just a little one act play, but I really got very interested. And then when I came over here, I think I was a freshman. Yeah, well, of course I was a freshman when I came here and Annie Get Your Gun was the first one that we did. There was a lady by the name of Debbie [Way 00:01:56] who came here to the school to teach. And she came and talked to me one day and said she knew I was interested and would I be interested in trying out for the play?

Rita Brown McKay (02:08): And I said, yeah, I would. I'd love to. And so she said, "Well, it's a musical and you'll have to sing." And I didn't know at that time that I could sing. So I auditioned and got a part in Annie Get Your Gun. Then the next year we did The Music Man. And then my junior year, we didn't have a musical because she left. And then Karen Staples and I think Susie Parker took over and we did Bye Bye Birdie my senior year. And those were the...

Rita Brown McKay (02:50): I was in all of them. I loved coming to practice. I loved it. I was always here and on time and I'd go through kind of a depression afterward, after the play was over, because I just loved being up here doing the plays, being with everybody else, being with all my friends, and we sort of just really bonded there. It was pretty much the same group just about every time. And we just had a really great relationship and those are my fondest memories of my high school, my whole high school career.

Group (03:41): (singing)

Asset ID: 2022.02.04
Themes: Drama, theater, performances, leadership, musicals, students, teachers, friendship, camaraderie, high school, confidence, memories
Date recorded: 2020
Length of recording: 03:57 m
File Type: Video
Related traveling exhibition: Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Trimble County High School in collaboration with Trimble County Public Library, Bedford, Kentucky
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