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Outdoor Drama Returns To Old Fort Harrod: ‘James Harrod’ Auditions On April 30 And May 1

Than Cutler starred as James Harrod and Eric Forman played George Rogers Clark in the 2019 production of “James Harrod: The Battle For Kentucky.” Auditions for this year’s production will be held this weekend.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Live outdoor drama is returning to Harrodsburg this summer. Auditions for “James Harrod: The Battle for Kentucky” are being held on Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, starting at 2 p.m. at Old Fort Harrod State Park (100 South College Street).

The play, “James Harrod: The Battle For Kentucky” centers on the settlers at Fort Harrod and their struggle for survival against Native Americans, rival claimants and each other.

David Coleman, manager of Old Fort Harrod, said they are casting Natives and Settlers as well as sound and lighting and backstage assistant.

“As you know, it is a big show so we are looking for around 25 cast and crew,” Coleman said.

While the history of outdoor drama goes back decades in the oldest town in Kentucky, “James Harrod: The Battle For Kentucky” was first produced in 2012 through a partnership between Old Fort Harrod State Park, the Friends of Old Fort Harrod and Ragged Edge Community Theatre.

In 2018, the production was suspended after the state shut down the James Harrod Conference Center because of mold.

The production resumed in 2019, but was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But “James Harrod” will be back this year, and Coleman is promising a bigger show than before.

“We have a couple new scenes including a new battle scene in the first act,” Coleman said.

That’s hardly the only thing planned for this summer at Old Fort Harrod State Park.

• Native Dawn Flute Gathering. A weekend of Native music, history and education running Friday, May 27, through Sunday, May 29, starting 4 p.m. each day.

• 13th Annual Settlement and Raid. Fort Harrod’s signature event is a full scale re-enactment complete with Settlers, Native Camp, Living History all day, Frontier Colonial Worship Service, “Children’s” Camp, Militia Muster and Raids on the Fort, Flintlock Rifle demonstrations and more. Happens Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Picnic In The Park. Free entertainment in the shade of the Osage orange tree every Friday in June and July. Starts Friday, June 3, starting at noon.

• “James Harrod: The Battle for Kentucky” at the James Harrod Amphitheater. Outdoor drama runs for two weekends starting Thursday, July 21, at 7:30 p.m.

• Pioneer Days. Free festival featuring nearly 100 vendors, live music, car show, wrasslin’ and fun activities for the whole family. Friday, Aug. 19, though Sunday, Aug. 21.

• “Big Jack” Pearson Memorial Car Show. Presented by the Central Kentucky Hot Rodders, all vehicles welcome with multiple vehicle categories. Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Haunted Frontier. A haunted experience 247 years in the making. Make your way through the dark woods in the haunted amphitheater near the oldest cemetery in the state. Thursday, Oct. 27, 7–10 p.m.

For more information, call Old Fort Harrod State Park at 859-734-3314 or email them at

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