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Robby Henson

By JENNIFER BRUMMETT and | May 27, 2012
Holly Henson, the stand-up comedienne who took over as executive artistic director of summerstock theater Pioneer Playhouse after her father died in 2004, died today. She was 51 and had battled breast cancer for years. Henson started her career in show business by performing fairy tale songs and dances on a rickety plywood stage that she and her brothers had built beside the family garage. Performing was second nature to Henson, as her father was Col. Eben Henson, the founder of Pioneer Playhouse.
By JENNIFER BRUMMETT and | June 7, 2011
The longest-running Broadway comedy in New York currently will make its Kentucky debut this week at Pioneer Playhouse. For many, it will be their first chance to see what director Robby Henson calls “an awesome play.” “It’s not a play — it’s an event. ... ‘The 39 Steps’ has mystery, scares, laughter, great costumes, a great soundtrack, fog — and the guy gets the girl. So what’s not to like?” Henson says, adding the play is “a comedy with thriller overtones.”  “It's 50 percent Hitchcock and 50 percent Monty Python,” he says.
By BEN KLEPPINGER and | July 12, 2012
Sometimes when you need entertainment after a hard day, you don't want to do anything that requires hefty thinking - you just want to sit down and laugh at people doing ridiculous and silly things. If you happen to find yourself in such a mood, “Bottoms Up,” showing at Pioneer Playhouse through July 21, will hit the spot perfectly. “Bottoms Up” is a light-hearted, slapstick comedy that changes things up from the Playhouse's first two offerings this summer, which featured far more intellectual humor.
CARMEN SMITH | June 12, 2009
Leslie Easterbrook's "luck and fortune" has her as the Pioneer Playhouse's star in "M is for the Million" this summer. Easterbrook is known for her roles in the "Police Academy" movies and more than 300 appearances in television series, such as "Laverne and Shirley. " The play is the kick-off for the playhouse's 60-year anniversary celebration, which will feature four other plays and two special events later this summer. Easterbrook was working on a Christian horror film when she heard about the production at the Pioneer Playhouse this summer.
July 5, 2011
Playhouse Looking for WWII Stories Pioneer Playhouse is looking for World War II veterans or descendants of veterans in the community who have an interesting oral history story or personal anecdote about WWII.  The stories will augment the presentation of “That Mad Cap Moon” from July 12 to July 23.  “That MadCap Moon” is an original comedy about a young girl coming of age during the War Years. The play was written by Jan Henson Dow and Robert Shroeder. Dow was raised in a rooming house on Main Street in Danville and much of the play was inspired by her remembering how the residents were effected by the war. The play includes episodes of meeting soldiers who were stationed at Northpoint Training Center, which was then Darnell Hospital.
By BOBBIE CURD and | June 11, 2011
The pioneering spirit is alive and well at Pioneer Playhouse. This summer, the summerstock theater will host a never-before-seen-in-Kentucky play, “The 39 Steps,” which closed on Broadway just this year.  “We are the first theater in Kentucky to get permission to produce it,” said Henson, artistic director for the outdoor theater. “That is a very big deal. We are truly bringing Broadway to the Bluegrass this year.” “The 39 Steps,” adapted by Patrick Barlow, is described by Henson as “Hitchcock meets hilarious.” A Tony and Drama Desk award-winning comedy, based on Alfred Hitchock’s famous film, it played on Broadway for three years and ended its New York run Jan. 16.  It will star Eben French Mastin, Pat Hammond, Daniel Hall Kuhn, Chris Kateff, Synge Maher and many new faces.
JENNIFER BRUMMETT | January 2, 2007
I'm afraid I don't have a whole lot of end-of-year deep wishes, resolutions or general ideas to convey. Not really. I mean, this happens once a year, right? I traveled to interesting places; took in good - and otherwise - plays; viewed good, great and merely interesting artwork; heard excellent music and passable tunes; read garbage and great things; and met new and scintillating artsy people as well as narcissistic and self-indulgent artistic folks. All-in-all, it was a typical year, and thus, not much on which to reflect.
By JENNIFER BRUMMETT and | July 11, 2011
World War II colors the goings-on of the next production at Pioneer Playhouse, called “That Madcap Moon.” Directed by Robby Henson, the play was written by his aunt, Jan Henson Dow. Henson talked about the play as well as activities going on during the run of the show. A-M: What is “That Madcap Moon” about?   RH: “Madcap Moon” celebrates the war years as seen through the eyes of a young girl who feels a change coming — to family, community and an entire world.
By ALDEN HOMRICH and | July 8, 2013
The Pioneer Playhouse is setto open its third play of the season, “The Search for Tinker Doyle.” The play will run from July 9-20. Written by local award-winning playwright Elizabeth Orndorff,” The Search for Tinker Doyle” focuses on Danville's relationship with its Sister City, Carrickfergus. The play tells the story of Charlie McConnell, a man visiting Carrickfergus to conduct Sister Cities business, as well as take his wife Eleanor on an anniversary trip. However, Eleanor has other plans for the trip and attempts to find her lost love of 34 years, Tinker Doyle.
By JENNIFER BRUMMETT and | June 3, 2012
Seldom are the words “the show must go on” more appropriate than when death occurs during auditions and the rehearsal period of a show. And despite the untimely demise of Pioneer Playhouse Artistic Director Holly Henson, “Dracula Bites,” the season opener at the summerstock theater, will open Friday. Playhouse managing director Robby Henson is directing “Dracula Bites.” He answered a few questions about the play, written by the playwrights of last summer's “Don't Cry For Me, Margaret Mitchell.” A-M: What is “Dracula Bites” about?
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