Jenny Wiley Celebrating 50 Years

Updated 3 years ago

In the summer of 1964, a small group of local actors from Paintsville, presented South Pacific, Jenny Wiley Theatre's first production. After the success of that first musical, this group was invited to present the show again at the amphitheatre in Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. That first play proved to be prophetic, for it was in musical repertory that Jenny Wiley Theatre found its destiny.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s SOUTH PACIFIC opening June 26 and running through August 1, is based on the short stories, “Tales from the South Pacific”, by James Michener. South Pacific premiered in 1949 and received the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, including, for the first time, Richard Rodgers as composer. It received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a Grammy Award and countless other accolades. For years the second-longest running show in Broadway history, it has proven itself a classic in countless productions around the world.


South Pacific spins a romantic tale of love and loss on a tropical naval base during World War II. As two couples fall in love, their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and their own prejudices. The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes Some Enchanted Evening, Younger Than Springtime, Bali Ha’i, There is Nothin’ Like a Dame, Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair and A Wonderful Guy.


The cast includes Nellie Forbush (Meg McWhorter), a young U.S. Navy nurse, coming to grips with her prejudice upbringing and falling in love with Emile de Becque (Dustin Cunningham) a wealthy plantation owner with two children Ngana and Jerome, played by Chloe Halcomb and Gage Brewer. Portraying the roles of Bloody Mary and her daughter Liat are Sarah Michelle Cuc and Tiffany Yuen. The cast of military personnel, Capt. George Brackett (Paul Glodfelter), Lt. Joseph Cable (Evan Harris), Lt. Buzz Adams (Victor Albaum), Luther Billis (Matthew Curiano), Stewpot (Malcom Gabriel Johnson), Seabee Tom O’Brien (Alex Acevedo), Cmdr. William Harbison (Adam Holland Shoaf), Radio Operator Bob McCaffrey (Drew Epperson), Seabee Johnny Noonan (Skyler Slone), Professor (Brian Graziani) and Shore Patrolman (Stephen Patula). The remaining cast includes the nurses, Lt. Genevieve Marshall (Courtney Cunningham), Ensigns, Lisa Minelli (Chantelle Cognevich), Connie Walewska (Kaitlyn Fouts), Janet McGregor (Jocelyn Isaac), Cora McCrae (Katelyn Webb) and Dinah Murphy (Madison Tackett).


South Pacific was directed by Galloway Stephens and choreographed by Kerry Lambert, both were last seen at JWT in 2012 for the production of Grease.


South Pacific’s creative team includes musical director Luke Williams, scenic designer Frank Ludwig, costume designer Anne Medlock, lighting designer David Gardner and sound designer Thomas Blankenship. Also contributing to the production was Jess Ludwig as Linguistic Consultant and Youth Director and David Zoellers as Military Consultant.


Tickets for SOUTH PACIFIC are on sale now at Jenny Wiley Theatre’s Box Office 606-886-9274 or online at


SOUTH PACIFIC, sponsored by Community Trust Bank, is the third show opening of the 2014 Season and will be in the spotlight on July 19 for Jenny Wiley Theatre’s Season Gala and Alumni Reunion. Other performances at Jenny Wiley Amphitheatre in Prestonsburg include PETER PAN, and at Jenny Wiley Mainstage in Pikeville, A SECOND HELPING – THE CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES SEQUEL. For more information, please visit Jenny Wiley Theatre’s website at


Jenny Wiley Theatre is a non-profit organization and receives funding from individuals, corporations, Prestonsburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Pikeville, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the Kentucky Department of Travel. The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports JWT with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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