The Middlesboro Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) recognized Women’s History Month by honoring local women who brought history to life with a glimpse of Middlesboro founder Alexander Arthur’s wife, Nellie.
Nellie was the subject of the Middlesboro Little Theatre’s (MLT) Spring play, which was simply entitled “Nellie.”
Honored for their work on the play were Ann Matheny, local author and historian; Amy Oden Simpson, MLT director and Dr. Kim Carney.
Matheny received the award for Women of the Year from the BPW.
Simpson received the award for Women of Achievement.
Carney was honored as Woman of the Week.
Matheny wrote the book “The Magic City,” which traces the history of Middlesboro and the Yellow Creek Valley. She displayed photos of Alexander Arthur’s family and Middlesboro.
“Nellie” was written by Simpson. “Nellie” is the latest in a series of local history plays written by Simpson. Carney played the role of Nellie in the play.
“Nellie” allowed theatre-goers a glimpse of an all-too-human wife and mother navigating her way through life in the Victorian age.
The play takes viewers from Middlesboro’s boom to its inevitable bust, 1890-93.
Simpson is currently enrolled in an MFA program at Spalding University, majoring in writing with an emphasis in play writing. In addition to “Nellie,” she has written and staged five local plays.
Simpson is an associate professor of English and coordinator of tutor services at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Simpson lives in Middlesboro with her husband, Bill, and children, Corley and Sidney.
Carney made her MLT debut in “Nellie.” She is a veterinarian at Harrogate Hospital for Animals. In a few months, she and her family are moving to South America to serve as missionaries.
Carney’s husband and son also made their MLT debut in “Nellie.” Caleb Carney, a third-grader, and played James. David Carney, Kim Carney’s husband, played Alex.
The great-granddaughter of Nellie and Alexander Arthur, Helen Colson, was able to attend a performance.
For more information or to learn how to become a member of the Middlesboro BPW, call BPW President Meryl Ward at 248-2251.
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, email@example.com.