ACT’s ‘Cotton Patch Gospel’ brings scripture to life

The Artist Collaborative Theatre presents “Cotton Patch Gospel” starting at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.

If you have ever wondered what would happen if the events in the New Testament had occurred in modern times, then the Artist Collaborative Theatre production of “Cotton Patch Gospel” is right up your alley.

Directed by ACT veteran Paul Platt, “Cotton Patch Gospel,” written by Tom Key and Russell Treyz, is a musical which takes place in rural Georgia and stays true to the Gospel of Matthew.

“While the scripture gives us a good idea of what it was like in Jesus’s day, this play asks what would the scripture look like if those events occurred today,” said Platt. “Rather than turning water in jugs into wine, what would be used today? Rather than Mary riding a donkey while traveling to Bethlehem, would it be a Volkswagen convertible instead?”

“Cotton Patch Gospel” relies on minimal set design and plenty of audience participation with several foot-stomping, hand-clapping musical numbers, it still covers religious matters which Platt ensures are treated appropriately.

“When I first saw a video of a production with the two authors, I was shocked — it was almost sacrilegious,” said Platt. “While it could be played as almost a parody, we worked very hard to ensure that the story was treated seriously. There will be humorous moments that earn a chuckle or two, but the play itself is treated respectfully.”

“Cotton Patch Gospel” stars Caleb Harris, Jason Justice, Shailyn Hopkins, Rich Pinson, Peterson Maynard, Donand Morgan,

Elthan Bowling, Jackie Damron, Ella Tolliver, Katie Mavis, J.R. Vasquez, Andrew Bentley, Emily Kingery, Cole Smith, Whitney Ramey, Lainey Vasquez, Bayleigh Ratliff, Sandy Penix and Larry Penix, with musicians Dave Sykes, Sandy Penix, Larry Penix, April Bowman, A.J. Smallwood and Howard Francis. Set design is by Treyton Blackburn and Paul Platt, construction by Terry Bowling, Jason Justice and Paul Platt. Costumes are designed by Pam Steward and Ashley Ratliff and lighting is done by Ashley Ratliff, Jason Justice and Gina Coleman.

The ACT Theatre in Elkhorn City is hosting performances at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, May 16-18, May 23-25 and May 30 through June 1; with matinees at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, May 19, May 26 and June 2.  

ACT will also be presenting four special shows at the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Amphitheater June 14, June 16, June 21 and June 23.

For questions, more information or to purchase tickets, visit, www.act4.org, call, (606) 754-4228, or go to “Artist Collaborative Theatre, Inc.” on Facebook.

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