Ghost House, work of HCHS student, to premier on stage Friday

Published 8:42 am Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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The curtain goes up at the Harlan County High School theater this week for “Ghost House,” a

dark comedy about a couple who moves into a rundown house without knowing it is full of


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The performances are presented by the Harlan County High School Black Bear Players.

The work of HCHS Senior Adrianna Hockenberry, this project began as a short story in Jennifer

Freyer’s creative writing class last year.

Hockenberry is talented in the arts, having been selected for the Kentucky Governor’s School for

the Arts last summer. She participated in creative writing.

Prior to departing for GSA in Lexington, she began converting the short story into a stage play.

“By the time I was at GSA I had a first draft of ‘Ghost House’ which one of the instructors, Dan

Bernitt, assisted me in editing,” recalled Hockenberry.

Freyer says she is elated for Hockenberry to see her project on stage this Friday, April 19. In-

school performances are scheduled during the day and the public performance at 6:30 p.m.

“This is the first time I have had a student demonstrate that they are proficient enough in theater to direct a play, and it was only a natural choice to pick a play that Adi had already written for

drama club to perform this year. So, to me, this is a very big deal to have a student do this,” said


Freyer said she is inspired by the hard work Hockenberry has put forth for the drama department.

“For the last several years, Adrianna has been working diligently in class and after school during

drama club rehearsals. Whenever I see a student really putting in effort and trying to learn as

much as possible the way that Adi has, I always try to offer new opportunities and guidance to

help that student see their goals come true even if they think it has to be later on when they are in

college or professionally. No student has to wait to see their dreams come to fruition if they have

the right support, and I know that Adi really wants to write and direct professionally. So, why not

give her the opportunity in high school to get that head start,” she said.

Freyer has seen Hockenberry grow in talent and skill, noting that the GSA experience was an

important opportunity to continue working toward her goal to become a professional playwright

and director.

“Adi has been slowly climbing the ladder in drama club since her sophomore year when she

initially joined. She has been the head of our backstage run crew, acted on stage for our

production of “Clue,” created numerous sound designs and soundtracks for our plays, and stage managed all of our shows this year alongside Averianna Thomas, another brilliant drama

student.,” noted Freyer. “Honestly, I am so proud of Adi. I believe that Adi is poised to change

the world with a lot of humility, intelligence, and humor. In short, I believe that Adrianna

Hockenberry is one of the hardest-working, earnest, genius-level kids that I have had walk into

my classroom. She is an outstanding person. I think our kids in Harlan County are much more

capable than anyone gives them credit.”

Hockenberry is enrolled at Morehead State University to major in theater.

“When I graduate with my bachelor’s degree, I will also have a teaching certification for grades

pre-kindergarten through 12 th in the MSU theater education program.

In addition to being a GSA alum last year, she has been in the drama club for three years with

experience as a sound designer, stage manager, and director through the drama club.

She is a member of the International Thespian Society, an honor society for theater students. She was awarded a regional Gold Key by the Alliance for Young Artist & Writers for her portfolio, “Tulle and Gauze.”