The play Harvey by Mary Chase is a classic that has been revived and will be playing at the Spotlight Playhouse in September. Written in 1944, the play is about Elwood P. Dowd and his friend Harvey. The problem is that Harvey only reveals himself to a limited few so most people think Elwood talks to an imaginary friend. Elwood is lovingly cared for by his sister Veta, but she has an announcement to make that will change all of their lives. The play takes place in Middle America and deals with family issues and personal relationships.

The Spotlight Playhouse is excited to be bringing this classic story back into the spotlight for this fall production. This show is sure to delight audiences and the hilarious, wonderful characters are sure to leave you entertained. The cast will be bringing this classic story back onto the stage for a limited time and we have all of the information you need to get your tickets before they sell out.

Join them for this modern classic that will be running from September 3-18 as well as many other events happening at the Spotlight Playhouse this fall. Come see this amazing show live on stage and catch all of the performances you have been waiting for.

Tickets for Harvey can be purchased from their website at: Tickets start at $12 for adults, $10 for Seniors, and $8 for Students. There are also group rates that are only available by calling the box office at (859) 756-0011 or in person at The Spotlight at 214 Richmond Road in Berea.

The Spotlight Playhouse is still going strong with an exciting 2021-2022 season. This year’s list of productions includes over 160 performances featuring The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Games Afoot, A Christmas Carol, The Mousetrap, 12 Angry Jurors, and many more.  

Berea has a wonderful selection of venues to host your next birthday party. From crossing those monumental thresholds, like the big 50, or a simple small venue to keep the mess out of your house these are the top places to get your party started.

  1. The Dinner Bell – The Dinner Bell is a family-style restaurant located just off of the I-75 exit 76. The Dinner Bell is a great place to host your next birthday party because it has a large private dining room featuring large windows and a fireplace. Additionally, the food is some of the best in Berea and they offer several different options to feed your guests. To inquire about renting the room or to find out what delicious options are available call 859-986-2777.
  2. The Smokehouse Grill – The Smokehouse Grill has two areas that can be set up for a private party experience. The first option is the meeting room that will seat around 30 people comfortably. The second is the large fireplace room located just off the main dining room and offers easy access to the country buffet that has made the Smokehouse Grill a Berea staple of great viddles. Located just off of I-75 Exit 77 in Berea, finding the restaurant is a snap. To rent the rooms contact the Smokehouse by calling 859-986-0830
  3. Club Arena Skating Rink – Celebrating over 60 years of entertaining on Broadway. Club Arena Keeps the tradition set by Charlie and Polly Wyatt back in 1960. They are a classic rink with a modern twist and take pride in providing great, family entertainment. All of their sessions are targeted to skaters of all ages and abilities. All music is tailored to be safe for all ages with families in mind. Contact them today for the best selection and availability! 211 North Broadway (in “Old Town”) Berea, KY 40403 859-986-3881, 859-661-1338
  4. Kentucky Farm Bureau – You might not think of an Insurance office as the first option for a Birthday Party location, but Kentucky Farm Bureau has a lot to offer that makes it the perfect place to celebrate your next birthday. The community room features a full kitchen, private restrooms, and just out the door without any cumbersome steps is ample parking. Call 859-986-2318 M-F 8:00 am-4:30 pm to ask about this convenient space.
  5. The Spotlight Playhouse – The Spotlight Playhouse is a wonderful place to bring the family for a fun-filled birthday party. It is located at 214 Richmond Road on the strip and offers several venues to rent out for a small group or large crowd. From a black box theatre that has 100 seats and great acoustics to the open hardwood floored Studio and spacious lobby, the Spotlight Playhouse has something for everyone. To learn more about renting the rooms call 859-756-0011.
  6. The Berea Friends Meeting House – The Berea Friends Meeting House is a unique location to hold your next birthday party in Berea. The meeting house spaces can be rented out for a reasonable fee and offer seating for up to 100 people. The meeting house is less than a mile from Berea College at 300 Harrison Rd. Email requests for reservations may be sent to
  7. The Russel Acton Folk Center – The center was built by a group of volunteers and many generous donations, in the mid-1980s. Berea has taken ownership of this facility and is now renting it privately. Featuring 3,500-square feet of open space, a commercial kitchen, and over 500 square feet dedicated to bathroom facilities, this building can be used for many different types of events. The cost of a facility rental will depend on the length of your event, number of people, and whether or not the kitchen is needed. For reservation information call (859) 986-9402.
  8. Oh Kentucky Campground – The Oh Kentucky Banquet Room just might be the perfect space for your next birthday party in Berea. The large building will house a considerable amount of guests and for an additional fee, your guests will have access to the campground swimming pool. For more information and rates please call 859-986-1150.
  9. The Boone Tavern – Boone Tavern Event Center, Skylight Room, Robinson Room, Coyle Gathering Room, Lincoln Lounge, and Elizabeth Ann Dunseth Lounge are all spaces perfectly fitted for a birthday party and range in size to seat 14 guests to 150 guests. Many of the rooms feature complimentary wi-fi and access to audio/video equipment. As the pricier location on this list you may want to reserve the Boone Tavern for the most special of occasions, but then again aren’t all birthdays special? To rent one of these exquisite rooms call 859-985-3967.
  10. Berea Intergenerational Center – The 1990s saw Berea celebrate its age diversity when the Intergenerational Center opened its doors in 1996. Some of the features of the center include several small rooms/offices, a kitchen, and a large community room. The community room is available for rentals and offers ample room for most birthday celebrations. Contact the Berea Senior Citizens Center for more information by calling (859) 986-8350.
  11. Many Area Churches – If you are a member of a local church you may need to look no further than your local congregation for a birthday party location. Many area churches have well-appointed fellowship halls available to members for free or at a low cost. Some of the nicest halls include Berea Baptist Church, Westside Baptist Church, First Christian, Berea United Methodist Church, and Church on the Rock.

The Berea area offers a wide variety of spaces to host your next birthday party. From the more formal Boone Tavern, with its elegant ballrooms and meeting rooms, to small intimate venues perfect for a smaller get-together, you’re sure to find something that will meet your needs in this town full of history and community spirit. With so many options on our list, it’s easy to see why Berea is such an excellent location for hosting your next birthday. Call one of these locations today or stop by their website for more information about what they have available.


Spotlight Acting School Little Mermaid JR

The Little Mermaid opens the Spotlight Acting School’s 18th Season this September. The award-winning musical will showcase some of their best young stars as they take you on an enchanted journey underwater to a world where dreams really can come true, if only for a little while.

The show follows the adventures of Ariel, a mermaid princess who yearns to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father King Triton…and risk everything! Filled with unforgettable songs such as “Under The Sea”, “Kiss The Girl” and “Part Of Your World”, Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR is equal parts romance and adventure for everyone.

Shows are scheduled for Sept. 10, 11, 17, and 18 at 6:30 pm and Sept. 12 and 19 at 2:00 pm at The Spotlight Playhouse, 214 Richmond Road, Berea KY 40403. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for students, with all children able to sit in a lap admitted free. For tickets or more information, you can visit

Buc-ee’s construction continues on I-75 in Richmond, KY as summer comes to an end. Buc-ee’s is a privately held company headquartered in Lake Jackson, Texas. The chain has been growing rapidly in recent years; as of 2018, it had 44 locations in six states (Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Florida).

This will be their first Kentucky location.

What is Buc-ee’s and how does it compare to other gas stations

A true convenience store with gas pumps and a shopping area. Convenience comes from the huge variety of items they offer. You can find anything from hot dogs to ice cream to wood for your BBQ.

This is unlike most other gas stations since it is not just a place where you buy gas to fill up your car and be on your way. They also are a place where you can go shopping for food, drinks, snacks, ice cream, and more. This is why it has been able to grow so quickly over the past several years as Americans now live busy lives where we do not have time to cook our own meals or shop at other grocery stores which can take more time than people have in their day.

How this will impact current businesses in the area

Only time will tell how this new gas station will impact current business in the area. Having a gas station near your house is convenient but some people will say that it could hurt businesses in the area. If more people choose to stop at Buc-ee’s because of its convenience, they may not need to go as often to other stores or restaurants nearby. It is possible that this might happen, but there are many different factors that can affect this: 1) Will people be willing to drive past other gas stations or even grocery stores just to get gas? 2) How large will this new Buc-ee’s store be and how well-stocked will it be with supplies? 3) Will prices at Buc-ee’s be lower than prices at other stores?

Why did they choose Richmond, KY as the location for their first Kentucky location

Buc-ee’s chose Richmond, KY as the location for its first location in Kentucky because of its convenient access to Northern and Southern traffic. The site is located on I-75, which links these two regions together.

The $25 million project will include 120 gas pumps, a 53,000 square foot shopping facility, and a restaurant. The location of the gas pumps are situated at a highly visible area to be able to entice as many users as possible.

The Buc-ee’s employer will provide over 200 full-time jobs upon opening and the location will be open 24 hours a day. This will not only bring jobs to the community but also a variety of new services to Madison County residents. 

Christmas "Carol"


“With heartwarming moments of endearment and quirky comical spirits, this modern spin of a holiday favorite is a welcomed reprise from the 2020 blues and one you should not miss.”

A Year Like None Other

The stage has been mostly bare at the Spotlight Playhouse this year as COVID-19 took the world by storm, but this has not stopped the talented staff and volunteers from striving to keep the performing arts alive. Last season the Playhouse premiered an all-new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol written adapted for the stage by local English teacher and Spotlight veteran, Jeremy Grant. Directed by Chad Hembree and staring Tony Crachiolo as Mr. Scrooge, the play was a hit and was quickly scheduled for a return in 2020 with possibly setting up a new Berea tradition.

Chad Hembree's Christmas "Carol" 2020
Chad Hembree’s Christmas “Carol” 2020

Unfortunately, the return of Ebenezer Scrooge could not happen in 2020, so in steps Carol Scrooge. “We needed something to show that Spotlight is still alive this Christmas. I poured over many scripts and considered asking Jeremy to adapt his 2019 script for a small cast, but eventually, I decided just to write one myself.” said playwright and director Chad Hembree. The new script entitled Christmas “Carol” features a small cast and takes a new spin on the classic tale.  Starring Jennifer Rose Escobar, the story follows Carol Scrooge, a distant descendant of Ebenezer Scrooge. The Scrooge family has become synonymous with Christmas charity since Ebenezer’s frightful night, but the memories of the past have faded, and Carol is slipping back into the family’s old ways. Once again Jacob Marley returns to offer Carol the same chance to redeem herself as he did his dear friend and partner many decades ago. Just as before she is visited by three spirits all with lessons to share.

Jacob Marley appears
Jacob Marley appears. Played by Mason Hembree.


You can view Christmas “Carol” right here on beginning December 21st. There is no cost to stream this production, but a donation link will be up to help the Spotlight Playhouse stay afloat until spring when the theater hopes to return to a regular schedule.


Chad Hembree

Chad Hembree

Playwright / Director


  • World Premiere – Monday, Dec. 21 7:00pm
  • Free to watch on-demand at BereaOnline
  • Filmed at the Spotlight Playhouse
  • An original play by Chad Hembree
  • Cast
    • Jennifer Rose Escobar
    • Charla Gilbert
    • Kyrsten Daugherty
    • Isabel Escobar
    • Letha Hembree
    • Paula Davis
    • Lydia Escobar
    • Scotty Varney
    • Phoenix Bailey
    • Mason Hembree
    • Rachelle Cordova
  • A Bluegrass Players Production
  • Special Thanks to the Spotlight Film School