Longtime friend Portia Ezell introduced Woodruff, saying she had always been a “livewire” and had always had a vivid imagination, an important characteristic of someone who wants to do theater. She said woodruff was a 1970 graduate of Trigg County High School and had long been an advocate of arts education. Besides being the founder of the Public Theater of Kentucky, she was the first American woman to direct a play in the former Soviet Union.
Woodruff told the crowd she had waited 56 years to walk into a theater in Cadiz. The theater was built after she graduated. She said was unusual to find something like the Little Theater, with or without the need for upgrades, in towns the size of Cadiz.
Woodruff said she considered herself a builder. There were other builders in her family, including her grandfather, Hollis, she said. While it might puzzle some in her family how she ended up directing plays, it isn’t such a stretch. Whenever she talks to anyone working on an aspect of one of her shows, she always finds herself using building analogies. She said she also got a little education on blueprints and other construction-related things a young age.
“My set designers love me for that,” she said.
Woodruff said she never got to see a play in Cadiz growing up because there were no drama programs at the schools. When Paul Fourshee later asked her, she said the first play she ever saw was Neil Simon’s “Star-Spangled Girl,” which her father took her to see at age 14 in New Orleans. When she was very young, she said her teachers let her perform plays during class after rehearsing them at recess. She said she enjoyed ordering others around.
“I didn’t realize how much of a tyrant I was at the time,” she said.
She said she was thankful that classes weren’t as structured when she was a girl, and said she didn’t think she would be where she was today if No Child Left Behind had existed then.
“No Child Left Behind is amazing in theory, but I would have been one of those left behind.” she said. “I would be standing here with a G.E.D., not a Ph.D.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.