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We Were Here: Origins of the Name

All photos were provided by the Pioneer Playhouse. The “We Were Here” exhibit is located in the Norton Center Grand Foyer and is free to the public. It is open Monday-Friday from 9 am-4 pm. For more information, call the box office at 859-236-4692.

“We were here” is the final line spoken in the play “Good Blues Tonight!” Written and directed by Pioneer Playhouse’s Artistic Director Robby Henson, the play first premiered at Pioneer Playhouse in 2016. It was later restaged at Lexington’s Lyric Theatre in 2017.

“Good Blues Tonight!” revolves around the once-thriving Second Street community in Danville. The story follows the community after the death of an elder who owned the coveted Dorian Hall building. An out-of-town visitor named Chrysler convinces them to hose a blues show to raise funds for the building, claiming to know legendary performer Big Mama Thornton. Though doubts about Chrysler’s credibility rise, the community prepares for the event as they try to save Dorian Hall from debt collectors.

The final line- “We were here” – is meant to serve as a reminder of Black people’s great impact on Danville’s growth and success.

“[This last line] declares that there is a history that many people have forgotten…. it’s a story of real people living real lives, and I think it’s important to tell and important not to forget.” -Robby Henson

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