‘The Reveal’ takes over Harlan Center

Published 9:40 am Friday, September 22, 2023

The Harlan Center was the location for an event that does not occur very often in Harlan, as the folks from Tri-Counties Mystery Meets (TCMM) presented “The Reveal,” a dinner theater-styled entertainment for the evening.

City of Harlan Tourism Director Brandon Pennington talked about the event during a recent interview.

“One of the things we are trying to do now – especially since we’ve gotten the building paid for – we’re trying to do more events,” Pennington said. “Of course, we’ve done more festivals, and we’re trying to bring more things such as shows to the center.”

Pennington said the recent murder and a mystery dinner theater experience is one example of the new events planned at the Harlan Center.

“TCMM came and did a performance on Sept. 15,” Pennington said. “We had a phenomenal dinner catered by Taco Holler. The play took place around people as they were eating dinner.”

The play was presented as a class of 1982 reunion, Pennington said.

“We ended up with about 100 people in attendance,” Pennington said. “We’re looking forward to doing more things like this in the future.”

Cat Goguen, owner of TCMM, shed some light on the company that presented the performance.

“We are a new business; we started in June of this year,” Goguen said. “We’re bringing theater to venues that traditionally would not be theater stages. We’re mobile and made up of actors from the Tri Counties.”

Goguen explained TCMM travels to different communities using scripts written by the company.

“We started in Corbin, went to London, Barbourville, and ended this run of ‘The Reveal’ in Harlan,” Goguen explained. “Now, we have a second show we’re preparing.”

TCMM is primarily based in Knox, Whitley, and Laurel counties.

The production of ‘The Reveal’ in Harlan involved 12 actors.

“It was a pretty large cast for a mobile theater unit,” Goguen said. “(‘The Reveal’) centered around a high school reunion, so it’s very interactive with the audience. All the audience members got name tags, so everybody is a classmate of the class of 1982 assembled for a reunion. That’s the premise.”

Each actor had a “reveal” under their vests, which was a secret revealed to the audience at some point during the performance. The reveals were clues leading up to solving the murder of a classmate.

According to Pennington, the Harlan Center will see an increased number of such events.

“Once the Harlan Center was paid for and we started to move out of COVID, we’re starting to see a little bit more resources to do more events,” Pennington said.

For more information on the Harlan Center events and rental terms, call (606) 573-4156. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information on Tri County Mystery Meets, visit the Tri-County Mystery Meets Facebook page.