Central Kentucky’s Pioneer Playhouse matriarch remembered as energetic, passionate theater lover

Republished from WEKU.

The matriarch of Danville’s famed Pioneer Playhouse is being remembered as a woman who helped keep the outdoor theater going for much of its nearly 75-year history. Charlotte Henson died February 13th. She was 93. Former Danville Mayor Mike Perros said he met her more than 50 years ago, when he was 10. He said until recently, she was still traveling to New York City to help pick out plays.

“And of course, she would read the scripts, and if she didn’t particularly like that script, she would, she would say, No, we’re not doing that. And that was that.”

Henson’s daughter Heather, the managing director for the Pioneer Playhouse, told WEKU her mom was working on this summer’s 75th anniversary celebration until shortly before her death. Perros said about a decade ago, he had roles in two plays at the playhouse. He said after one of them, Charlotte Henson told him, “You did good.”

“You know, for a guy like me having no experience whatsoever to get that kind of comment from Miss Charlotte, it just didn’t get any better than that.”

Perros said his nickname for her was “The Iron Butterfly,” because she was strong-willed, yet full of energy with the ability to somehow move from one end of the playhouse to another very quickly – and very quietly.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.