Friday, June 16, 2017

A Little Q&A with Caroline Stine About Pearl Bryan Play for the 150th

From the Pearl Bryan display at the Fort Thomas  Museum.
Pearl Bryan. You know the name and you know the story. Or do you? Caroline Stine has created a play that will reveal the real story of Pearl Bryan’s murder. The murder was so sensational that it even spawned a number of ballads.

What do you find intriguing about her story?

All of the themes and lived experiences of this play are still present and important in our present day, such as disbelieving the testimony of a witness, the lack of agency of young women, and the love of scandal that thrilled 19th century audiences of Newport/Cincinnati/Fort Thomas in the same ways as they do now. 

How would you describe the play?

It’s a ghost story told through the vehicle of the traditional American murder ballad. 


Campbell County YMCA. This is an advertisement. 


Is there a particular “hero” in this story?

Because this is a story about ordinary people, there isn't a hero. This is a terrible event that occurred as a part of the tapestry of our city's history; glorifying any one person will not change that. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say about the play, the challenges, etc?

This play was devised by Mia Vera and myself from examination of historical documents and rigorous research. Our goal has been to stay true to the source material and still show the human stories that were wrapped up in this lurid tale. 


The play is free and will be presented on Monday, July 3 and Friday, July 7 at 9:00 pm in the Mess Hall.  You can also learn more about Pearl Bryan at the Fort Thomas museum in Tower Park.

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