Local playwright, actor presents original work

First Posted: 10/21/2014


It lurks around every bend.

This is a sad truth faced by many young children in early 1900s Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the premise of Clarks Summit playwright and actor Robert Thomas Hughes’ original play “A Miner’s Tale,” to be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26 at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum.

Admission is $5 and information can be obtained by calling 570-963-4804.

The story follows the typical hardships and perils of child coal mine workers, experienced by seven characters, all portrayed by Hughes, beginning with the breaker boys. These young boys often worked as apprentices to their fathers, and mining accidents were multi-generational tragedies.

“It’s an aide to memory,” Hughes said of the piece. “That’s why I’m doing it.”

He said the script is historically accurate and concentrates on the psychological aspects of the subject matter.

This accuracy, however, did not come without research, and Hughes said he owes gratitude to Richard Stanislaus, a researcher at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Museum and Beth Shomaker, a researcher at the University of Scranton, for their assistance in this regard, as well as to Chester Kulesa, of the museum, for producing the play for the fourth time.

Hughes previously presented “A Miner’s Tale” in venues from Scranton to Port Jervis New York. His acting experience includes an extensive list of productions in the Scranton area, New York and Philadelphia.

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