October 11, 2006 | By: Terri McLean

In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, staged readings of “The Way Home,” a spoken opera by playwright Constance Alexander, will be presented by Artists Collaborative Theatre in Pikeville Oct. 19, 20, 21 and 22. 

This 45-minute production is “an incredible piece of social art” that examines the plight of cancer and related issues, including how the uninsured deal with serious illnesses, according to director Stephanie Richards, fine arts agent for the Pike County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. It is being presented in Kentucky and throughout the United States during October.

“The Way Home” was inspired by an award-winning civic journalism project that playwright Alexander undertook with WKMS-FM, a National Public Radio member station in Murray from 2000 to 2003. She conducted scores of interviews, including an ongoing series of meetings with two women from western Kentucky, both of whom were fighting cancer. Alexander was inspired to honor their courage by dramatizing their stories in “The Way Home,” Richards said.

Pikeville College’s Booth Auditorium will play host to the play. It is one of several locally produced productions taking place throughout Kentucky and the United States as part of a national outreach effort to increase breast cancer awareness. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the door.

The Oct. 19, 20 and 21 performances will be at 7:30 p.m., while the Oct. 22 performance begins at 3 p.m. On Friday, Oct. 20, the presentation will feature a “talkback” of expert panelists focusing on cancer issues. “Pay What You Can” donations will be accepted, with proceeds benefiting cancer programming. A reception will also follow. 

Artists Collaborative Theatre is an umbrella program of Pike Arts Inc., a UK Cooperative Extension Service organization.


Stephanie Richards, 606-432-2534