Gene Worthington is no stranger to the stage. He has performed in community and professional theatre for over thirty years. In addition, he performs living history characters in the Chautauqua style. This is a humanities program in which a scholar/actor brings to life a character from American history. He brings his passion baseball history to the stage with his presentation of Babe Ruth. He portrays the indomitable Teddy Roosevelt in both living history presentation and through full-length play, Bully. His performance of frontiersman Simon Kenton recreates American frontier history.
In addition, Gene has served as the Artistic Director of the Historic Fayette Theater in Fayetteville, West Virginia for the past 20 years. During that time, he has directed over 30 productions, served as technical director for many of the shows and even found time to perform on the stage of the Historic Fayette Theater. His most memorable roles were the Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie, where he represented the Historic Fayette Theater at the WV State Theatre Competition; the Troll in Jack and the Giant; the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood; and the Director in Play On, to name a few. Most recently, he starred Ebenezer Scrooge in the production of A Christmas Carol at Tamarack, the WV State Arts Center. As a director, his shows include the popular Smoke on the Mountain, which toured Wales and England in 2000, and Grace and Glorie, which took first place at the state competition and represented West Virginia in the regional competition in Jacksonville, Florida.
Another aspect of Gene’s varied career includes the presentations of Readers Theater performances. He has acted and directed in a number of these including versions of the iconic Frankenstein, It’s a Wonderful Life and War of the Worlds. He also works with high students in the community, directing their performances in area elementary schools.
Past performances of Gene’s include a living history presentation of labor leader John L. Lewis, as well as appearances with his wife, Karen Vuranch, in The Gift of the Magi and The Lincoln's of Springfield. He has also participated in murder mystery performances at state parks in West Virginia.
Worthington has worked on training films for the Department of Mine Safety and was an extra in the movie Matewan, a major motion picture about the coal mine wars of West Virginia, and in the movie We Are Marshall, the moving story of the Marshall University’s return to football after a tragic plane crash. His voice is featured as the narrator in the National Park Service’s interactive exhibit at the Thurmond, West Virginia railroad station. Gene is retired from the Fayette County School system after 30 years of teaching and serving as an administrator.