In early 2014, the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program funded Higher Ground’s fifth play as well as a regional conference called It’s Good To Be Young In The Mountains. Next generation artists created the play Find A Way, with support from professional artists Higher Ground had worked with previously.
Photos by Carrie Billett, Lauren Adams Arney, Chris Jones, Sierra Hatfield, Robert Gipe, and others.
Austin Rutherford & Devyn Creech directed with the support of Robert Martin. Sierra Hatfield choreographed with the support of Kevin Iega Jeff. Justin Taylor was the musical director with the support of Ann Schertz. Nick Cornett designed the lighting and set with the support of Maranda Debusk. Carrie Billett, with support from Robert Gipe, was the lead playwright on Find A Way.
Find A Way addressed issues of economic hardship, family discord, gender and sexuality. A cast and crew of fifty performed the play for over 2000 people in seven performances in three states during 2015. Find A Way took a youth perspective on the public schools, the challenges of being in relationship with liars, and the difficult pass our local economy has come to.
Find A Waywas presented at the Alternate ROOTS annual meeting of artists from throughout the South, and at an Appalachian Theater conference at Emory & Henry College in Virginia.
As part of developing Find A Way, Cornett and Creech worked with students at Harlan County High School to create Lockdown, the follow-up to the preceding year’s Solving For X.
Several of the participants in the high school project also participated in writing and art classes during the summer of 2014 and acted in Find A Way during the Spring of 2015.
Chapter 1: 2001-2005. A Lot of Listening & A Grant Proposal.
Chapter 2: 2005-2008. Higher Ground Is Born.
Chapter 3: 2008-2009. Playing With Fire
Chapter 4: 2010-2011. Talking Dirt
Chapter 5: 2012-2013. Introduction to the Foglights years
Chapter 6: Spring 2013. Solving For X
Chapter 7: Summer 2013. Summer of Fog
Chapter 8: Fall 2013. Foglights Performed
Chapter 9: 2014 -2015. Find A Way
Chapter 10: 2015 & 2017. It's Good 2 Be Young In The Mountains 1 & 2
Chapter 11: 2016-2017. Hurricane Gap, Shew Buddy!, & Life Is Like A Vapor.
Chapter 12: 2017 -2018. Needle Work & the Southeast Kentucky Revitalization Project
Chapter 13: 2019. Perfect Buckets
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