In 2005 we were visiting Harlan County in the far southeastern corner of Kentucky and we happened on an early rehearsal for a community play. It was like no production we’d ever seen or heard about. Tonight and over the next several weeks, Kentuckians will have a chance to see a program about the production of “Finding Higher Ground.”

Higher Ground is a play written about a local tragedy, the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has devastated many rural counties in the eastern coalfields. People in Harlan County collected interviews about the crime, violence and personal tragedy that has come with the high addictive pain pills that now wash through the county. Tennessee playwright Jo Carson then wove the stories into a play.

A Kentucky Educational Television crew has pieced together a program about Higher Ground that will air Thursday night first and then on various times over the rest of January. Go here for a description of the program and a full schedule. We’ll let you know if it’s possible to download the piece.

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