The History That Is PTK
The Public Theatre of Kentucky at the Phoenix, one of
Following her graduation from
During the 1980s and into the early 1990s The Public Theatre of Kentucky performed at the
Ironically, the 1993-1994 season marked the beginning of a new era for The Public Theatre of Kentucky. It was the first season in the newly renovated Phoenix Theatre and was the first season without Marci Woodruff. Newly designed by Tom Tutino, the old Alley Playhouse was christened The Phoenix Theatre and opened with Beau Jest. The Phoenix Theatre was named after the bird from Arabian mythology that lived for 500 years, burned itself to death, and rose out of its own ashes to start another long life. The phoenix is symbolic of life that goes on forever.
It was during this season that a very dedicated and very busy board of directors maintained The Public Theatre of Kentucky without the services of an Artistic Director. Whit Combs took on many of the responsibilities of that position and proved once again that he was indeed a "Gentleman of the Theatre."
The following year, Mike Thomas became the Artistic Director of The Public Theatre. Popular and charismatic, Mr. Thomas dubbed himself "Mr. PTK." Many new innovations and community outreach programs were started during his tenure. In December of 1996, Whit Combs died and PTK lost its dear friend and staunch supporter. The Whit Combs auditorium in the Phoenix Theatre was dedicated in honor of his memory.
Before the decade came to a close Mike Thomas took a position in
The millennium was ushered in at The Public Theatre with Alexis Combs McCoy, Whit's daughter, as Artistic Director and Delia Brown as Producing Director. Beginning with the McCoy/Brown tenure, a number of innovative additions came to PTK, including the Sunburst Youth Theatre, which involves youth of this community in theatre activities and public performance.
In January 2002, Delia Brown took over the responsibilities of Artistic and Producing Director at PTK. In the past year PTK has grown to include even more outreach programs for South Central Kentucky. The After Hours Series is very popular and has brought new audiences to the theatre. The Mondays @ 7:00 New Play Reading Series in which PTK will present staged readings of original scripts to further promote theatre in this region, and the addition the Sunburst Youth Theatre program.
The rich history of The Public Theatre of Kentucky has included many dedicated, selfless, talented people who have provided many hours of quality entertainment. Their commitment to the theatre arts serves as a strong foundation for a bright, exciting future.