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Honus Shain, Pine Knob Theatre


Honus Shain

Playwright Honus Shain is also the manager/producer of Pine Knob Theatre, Inc.—and even designed the company’s outdoor theater, built in 1987 on Shain’s Grayson County farm.

Born and raised in the rural Western Kentucky community of Pine Knob, Honus incorporated the happy memories of his childhood into the five plays performed each summer. The first was Dock Brown—Legend of an Outlaw, based on the true story of an outlaw who lived in Pine Knob from 1842 to 1851. The farm where the theater is located was once owned by the outlaw, so the play takes place on the site where the historic events it re-creates actually took place. Having been raised in the community, Honus had always heard stories about Dock Brown, and he was able to bring the stories back to life with the help of Col. William R. Haynes’ book Dock Brown: Outlaw of Grayson County.

His second and third plays, Down in Hoodoo Holler and The Return of Goldie Mae, are comedies stemming from his childhood memories and the folklore of the community. And his great love for the 1950s and his admiration for ’50s-vintage cars brought Honus to write two plays set in that era: Daddy Took the T-Bird Away and LARD—Lucy and Ruth’s Diner.

Honus is a former radio broadcaster, having at one time owned four commercial radio stations. Now living at his home in Pine Knob, he spends his time writing and producing plays for the theater and restoring Pine Knob buildings and grounds for visitors. Each summer, numerous picnics, family reunions, and weddings and the annual Pine Knob Sorghum Festival are held on the grounds.

The character Honus himself plays in Dock Brown is that of his fourth great-grandfather, Mark Shain. Many other members of the cast are also descendants of the characters they play.

As a storyteller, Honus provides comic relief for all of the plays, sharing humorous stories from his childhood before each performance. He also speaks at banquets and various meetings.


Program 336

Music from the Louisville Pipe Band, Kevin Hardesty of Actors’ Guild of Lexington, historian and author David McCullough, and Honus Shain of Pine Knob Theatre. (#336)





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