Hurricane Gap Institute

Hurricane Gap Community Theater Institute

November 16-18, 2018
Pine Mountain Settlement School
36 State Highway 510, Bledsoe, Kentucky 40810

Visit the Hurricane Gap Institute 2018 eventbrite page to register or to make a contribution to the 2018 Pay What You Can fund.

A regional theater movement has been building in eastern Kentucky, creating new theater that articulates our cultures, creativity, hopes, and challenges. This movement has been led at the grassroots by community members and practitioners of non-profit, educational theater, theater for development, and community-based performance. The Hurricane Gap Institute began in 2016 specifically to serve this community of artists, educators, and community leaders.

The Hurricane Gap Community Theater Institute offers the opportunity for local theater artists to work together across communities to support and advance theater as participatory art in the mountains. Participatory art employs a democratic approach to art and provides community members with the opportunity to be directly engaged in the creative process and narrative shaping that stems from it. Community performances and participatory art serve as an outlet for people to share and reflect upon the experiences, traditions, and histories that makeup the community.

At The Hurricane Gap Community Theater Institute, there is space for community members to develop their performance and storytelling skills, become involved in their community, grow as leaders, and further create a theater practice that holds space for witnessing and deep-healing to occur. This form of participatory art fits into the envisioning that is needed for the just economic transition movement that is occurring in many coal communities facing a drastic downturn in the economy.

The three-day institute is comprised of several skillshare workshops to build upon the skills and practices of each artist. In the fashion of community participatory art, every participant attends every class and workshop. Potential topics for skill-share workshops and classes include: 

  • Play development
  • Actor training
  • Devising
  • Critical Response
  • Dramaturgy
  • Clowning

All participants will also have the opportunity to present work-shares, 5-7 minutes of their own work.


The cost per person is $275. Thanks to sponsors and donors we are able to offer “pay what you can” registrations at $25, $50, and $100 in order to make the Institute affordable for all people. There is no request or approval process to register at one of the discounted pay what you can rates — please select the rate that you can afford when you complete the Eventbrite registration process on this site.

*****We still need sponsors and donations for the 2018 Pay What You Can fund. If you or your employer is interested in sponsoring the cost for one or more people to participate, please do so on the registration site or contact Mark Kidd at


Visit the Hurricane Gap Institute 2018 eventbrite page to register or to make a contribution to the 2018 Pay What You Can fund.

Registration includes all meals from Friday dinner until Sunday lunch as well as all lodging costs. Lodging is dormitory style with two single beds and two people per room. Bathrooms are communal.


Hurricane Gap strives to be accessible in all senses of the word. Please be aware that the Pine Mountain Settlement School is a century-old rural campus.  Some lodging involves uphill walking, however arrangements can be made for people with disabilities, families, or other needs upon request. Please let us know of your accessibility needs as soon as possible so we can ensure to make arrangements that best fit your needs. Please contact Mark Kidd at with dietary, physical, and other accessibility requests or questions.

More information

Hosted by Handbarrow, Higher Ground, and Clear Creek Creative