From Such Humble Beginnings…
Back in 1995, Bo Cecil, Billy Blake Hall, and Craig Swatt decided to write a musical based on the old Greek myth about the world’s first woman, Pandora. She’s mostly remembered for opening a jar releasing all of the earth’s evils. They never wrote that musical.
Instead, the trio produced Falsettos, a James Lapine and William Finn production that had debuted on Broadway three years earlier. The Louisville production opened at the (old) Alley Theater. Working conditions weren’t the best. Backstage was cramped. The stage was tiny. The set was from the previous show. The costumes came from the actors and their friends’ closets. And the props were picked from curbside trash.
Then came rehearsals and opening night. After the final curtain in the sold-out theater, the foot-stomping, cheering audience shook the walls and floor. Pandora Productions was born. Through the rest of the ’90s the company managed to produce one or two shows annually, including ‘night, Mother, Jeffry, and The Ballad of Little Mikey.
By 1999 all three original founders had left Pandora and actor Michael Drury took over. “I had dreamed of having a theatre company that presented theatre of social relevance,” Michael recalled. “I struggled for a while trying to make Pandora fit a broader mission, that of social issues, when really all she ever wanted to be was a GLBT themed theatre.”