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Local theatrical production about Hatfield and McCoy Feud wins national award and earns state recognition

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT
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PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - The Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre is playing host to a historically infamous family feud. ‘Bloodsong: The Story of the Hatfields and the McCoys’ tells the story of the clash of the two Appalachian clans and the causes of their fabled bloodshed.

“It tells a historical representation of the feud from the beginning of the feud with the death of Harmon McCoy to the end of the feud with the hanging of Cotton Top Mounts,” said Bloodsong Director Jason Justice. “It tells the story and it weaves it into a beautiful artistic tapestry that’s fun to watch.”

Along with the historically accurate show that’s been a production of some form for nearly 10 years, this year, the show won some impressive hardware through the American Association of Community Theatre’s (AACT) National Festival.

“That national festival this year, because of COVID, was done virtually,” said Artists Collaborative Theatre Executive Director Stephanie Richards “Through many stages of that elimination, Bloodsong was selected as one of the top 12 productions in the entire nation.”

Along with that national recognition, came a national award. Bloodsong was chosen as the show with the best stage combat in the nation. Also, the state has given the show another impressive title.

“Bloodsong is also the official state play for the Hatfields and McCoys,” said Richards. “We’re doing double titles now!”

According to officials, this double-dose of state and national recognition has given cast members the energy and excitement to press through this year’s run of the show and has caused some excitement around the city of Prestonsburg.

“It rings so well throughout the region because everybody knows about it,” said Prestonsburg Mayor and Bloodsong cast member Les Stapleton. “It’s an opportunity for people to learn history, see some great local actors, and enjoy themselves.”

Saturday, July 24th was originally scheduled to be the last showing, but the production has added two more dates on Thursday, July 29th, and Friday, July 30th. For more information or to get tickets, visit the Mountain Arts Center’s website.

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