Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater

A story is born, a story is "growed", and then it is harvested, so it can be told... We gather them together, with little muss and fuss, to present "Monkey Dumplin's", the story of US.

Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater harvests local stories by teaching the art of story telling, then capturing and performing the fascinating oral history of Clay County on stage. Monkey Dumplins draws people with varied backgrounds and beautifully interweaves their many creative talents.

Participants share important, untold stories. Actors extract the essence through drama, movement, and song. The performance may be moving, funny, or profound, and leaves the teller and the audience with fresh insight and a stronger sense of community.

About Monkey Dumplins

All of us have stories. Learn more about the Appalachian community, their struggles, their achievements and joys.

Monkey Dumplins is Stay in Clay’s community theater group richly woven into the Story Bridge design created by Dr. Richard Geer. It is theater with a purpose serving the people of the community and surrounding region.

Clay County and people from all across Appalachia are filled with stories. We all have a story to tell.

Monkey Dumplins theme song has a line that says, “Call in all the children and gather round the table. We will tell our stories as many as we’re able. Some will be funny and some will be sad. But we’ll have the best time that we’ve ever had.” We take that line very seriously in that, even if funds are scarce, we still have our stories of which no one can take from us. These stories are treasures and not meant to be lost. 

Monkey Dumplins Story Bridge Theater offers a stage to present these stories to audiences from all across the county. Some stories are of hard times, some are of days gone by, others tell the history of our county or of very personal experiences. During a recent project, “Harmony in the Hills”, the purpose of the Story Bridge theater was to use the stories to reduce crime in the youth of the area. As was said, “It is theater with a purpose”.

“What is your story?”

Stay In Clay Theme Song

Stay in Clay is an original song written by Sierra Dunzweiler, Lynsey Haynes, Holly Haynes, and chorus by Anne Shelby. This performance took place at Harmony in the Hills. 

The song has been sung on several occasions, including the 2017 SOAR Summit, the Bert T. Combs Symposium, and other community events. It has also been featured on WYMT.

Shaping Clay Part I: Salt of the Earth

An outdoor drama based on the early history of Clay County and the founding of Manchester. Written by Anne Shelby and directed by Donnie Stevens in partnership with Monkey Dumplins and CCHS Tiger Troupe.

Harmony in the Hills

Harmony in the Hills was a youth driven intergenerational peace camp hosted by Stay in Clay, Oneida Baptist Institute, and Community Performance International. Funded by the Byrne Criminal Justice innovation and Memorial Hospital Manchester, KY. 

Through storytelling and creative arts, the 8 days peace camp utilized the Story Bridge method to create a safe space for the youth to reflect, share and build peace and understanding in the community. 

“I have never felt more loved and appreciated than I have here.” Anonymous youth participant at the close of camp.

Join The Movement

"Stay In Clay" is comprised of progressive Clay County residents who have come together to cross all boundaries of race, economic, and social class, to empower our people, bond our community, and strengthen our local move Clay County forward with pride and purpose.

Stay in Clay is a group formed to help boost the spirit, pride, and morale of our people and help improve the look and condition of our hometown/county. We want Manchester and Clay County to be the place people want to live, stay, retire, visit, come home to!