Arts’ Watch: September is play season in Kentucky

Published 11:33 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Bill McCann


Four theaters, three in Lexington and one in Berea, are opening or have opened their new seasons. Two of the theaters are presenting plays by local playwrights. This will be an excellent time to get your seats, and plan to attend one or more plays in the next few weeks.

Email newsletter signup

“Ladies of Liberty,” by Bo List (a playwright who lives in Lexington but who works for the Leeds Center for the Arts in Winchester), is being presented by Studio Players in Lexington. It opens on Sept. 14 and runs weekends through Oct. 1.

According to the Studio Players’ website, “when radio station WHIZ-NY loses the actors of its highest rated adventure drama, The Mighty Men, to the draft in World War II, a new superhero team is created to take their place: The Ladies of Liberty. But these new heroes aren’t content to battle petty criminals and cook and clean; they want to help defeat Hitler. When the war concludes and their show is threatened by cancellation, they decide they want to be real heroes and perform one last episode – on their own terms.”

Tickets and show time information online at Tickets, not including processing fees, are $15 for students and $22 for general admission. Season ticket packages are also available now.

Lexington Children’s Theatre opens its season with “The Smartest Girl in the World.” This show is being performed at the group’s venue on Short Street in Lexington starting Sept. 16 and running through Sept. 29. Both before and after the Lexington performances, the show will tour various schools and public performance venues through Dec. 16, 2023. Four local family performances on the theater’s main stage are on the 16, 17, and 24 of Sept.

According to LCT’s website, “Lizzy and Leo Martinez have a plan – they want to be the “smartest kids in the world!” Studious Leo is convinced that winning a local TV quiz show is the first step to a better life for their family. Maybe he and Lizzy can even take their hardworking mami and papi on vacation to Hawaii! But when their parents refuse to let Leo participate in the quiz show, Lizzy decides to grow up, step up, and complete the plan herself.”

Information about tickets and show times are now available online at Also available is information for teachers/schools to arrange to take students to a school matinée performance. Tickets cost $10 to $20 each.

Schools or civic groups interested in bringing a touring version of the show to their community should visit for more information and to make arrangements.

Lexington’s Message Theatre will be performing the world premiere of Lexington playwright Patrick Mitchell’s “The Waiting Room” on Sept. 22, 23, and 24—three performances only—at the Lyric Theatre 300 East 3rd Street Lexington.

“The Waiting Room,” which was initially given a public reading at the Leed’s Center for the Arts, is, according to Message Theatre’s Facebook page, “a story about an existential journey for psychiatrist Dr. Keith to find the meaning of his life while encountering new patients that wander into his office.”

The premiere at the Lyric Theatre features area actors and New York-based actor Brandon Jones. Joe Farrell directs the show.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $25. Seniors and students are $15, General admission is $25. On Senior Night, Saturday, Sept. 23, tickets for seniors are $10. Fees are additional. Visit to purchase tickets in advance.

Spotlight Theatre in Berea has three shows running over the next three weeks. During the coming weeks, the Bluegrass Players, Spotlight’s community theater for adults, will be presenting two shows: “Murder’s in the Heir” runs this Saturday through Sept. 16, and two weeks later, Sept. 29-30, “Mystery at Monarch Manor,” a comedy dinner theatre show that is family-friendly. Tickets for this show range from $29 – $49

Scheduled around the adult shows are “Junie B. Jones The Musical Jr.” a comedy and a family-friendly show featuring child actors from the Spotlight Acting School, which opened yesterday, Sept. 8, and runs through Sept. 17. “The Addams Family—A New Musical” by the Spotlight Acting School featuring teen actors runs September 21 -24.

Tickets for the dinner theatre show, “Mystery at Monarch Manor, “run from $29 – $49 each. Individual tickets cost between $7 and $17 for the other three shows. For more information about any of their shows, visit The Spotlight Playhouse Theatre and Event Center’s website: www.the