Storytellers collaborate for play

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OIL SPRINGS - The Cultural Heritage Network, along with several partners such as Johnson County Extension, the OSCAR, Brushy Fork, are joining together to host the first ever play called the Story Patch” according to Brenda Cockerham Johnson County Extension Office Family Consumer Sciences agent. 

"The play is really neat," Cockerham went on to say, "Because it is made of real stories from around here. There were 15 storytellers and 27 stories contributed. Of these, the majority (approximately 85%) really happened! The rest were stories created from the imaginations of local authors with bits and pieces of truth."

The playwright selected was Chelsea Marcantel, who merged the majority of the stories together into one play. She took bits and pieces of as many of the stories as she could. The play will be directed by Terry Salyer, of Magoffin.
“Those of us who participated and have read the script are amazed that she was able to work them all together to make any sense!” stated Cockerham. 

The Cultural Heritage Network is a group of individual dedicated to the preservation of our history and culture. This 15-year-old group is committed to this endeavor and take on many missions of this nature. 

This one was one of the more creative ventures that they hope will become an annual event. They are archiving all the original stories for the future and continuing to gather them and keep them available for additional projects such as storytelling. The group calls the series “The Story Patch” and the first play is named “Just Like Family.”  The first play performed with 18 volunteers will be presented in the original theatre in the old Oil Springs School, now called the OSCAR. (Oil Springs Cultural Arts and Recreation Center.) If you have not been there before, the building will be open 2 hours before so that people can tour it. The building is a showcase of murals and artists with opportunities year around to learn about the arts. The original theatre is on the second floor, so if you have a physical challenge with steps, the second location will be held in the original Sipp Theatre in Paintsville, Ky. This theatre is one of the oldest along the Big Sandy River. 

Play times are as follows: May 31 at 7 p.m. at the OSCAR, June the 1st at 3 p.m. at the OSCAR, June 6th at 7 p.m. at the Sipp and June 7th 7 p.m. at the Sipp, as well. 

Join us as we celebrate our past, future and local culture! Call 606-789-8108 at the Johnson County Extension Office to reserve your tickets or for any additional questions. 


15 Story tellers and gatherers from Johnson, Pike, and Floyd Counties contributed 27 stories:

Billy Joe Carpenter
Michael Froman
Brenda Cockerham (in behalf of Herman Porter and James Porter)
Dianna Reed
Randy Trimble
Danny Blevins
Phyllis Gillem
Viki Rice (in behalf of herself, Sarah Elizabeth Meade, Dr. Eula Lee West)
Cindy Blair: (in behalf of herself and Opal Chandler)
Eloise Delzer