France was the special guest speaker on June 3 for the Kiwanis Club of Logan, where he told visitors that even though Myths and Legends, which had been revised to bring new crowds in was a major success he and another writer of the show decided they wanted to make some more changes to increase audience interests.
"We noted how some things went over with the audience and we decided that maybe we could change them or the dialogue and make it even better," France said, noting that this year he plans on just directing the show. Last year, France and others took a major gamble. As attendance for the classic version of "The Aracoma Story" had dropped off over the years there was some concern the long running outdoor drama might go away for good. France and others revamped the show and worked to recruit a new cast. The efforts paid off, France said, with the highest audience numbers in over a decade.
"This year, I am not having to recruit because we already have 65 people in our cast," France said, noting his new cast features many new faces as well as familiar ones in new roles.
Lara Hatfield will be playing Princess Aracoma; Sean Adkins will portray Bolling Baker; Jason Grimes will portray The Old Man; Keith Muncy will portray Chief Logan.
"With our cast, we are in good shape," France said of the show, which will have a brand new opening as well as new dialogue.
"People seem to have liked what we did last year and accepted it, so we are hoping to improve on that."
This year, The Aracoma Story Myths and Legends will run for three weeks, Tuesday through Sunday July 20-August 7.
It is preceded by "Always...Patsy Cline from June 15-July 3 and will be followed by "The Jungle Book for Kids" with a youthful cast running for one week from Aug. 10-15.
France said he was impressed with the work of the young performers for The Jungle Book, which is based on the classic Disney cartoon, and noted that there are over two dozen of Patsy Cline's hit songs in the other play, which will also feature well known local performers The Daddy Rabbit Band.
For more information call 304-752-0253 or check the website www.thearacomastory.com or www.loganshows.com
Advance group tickets are available for 15 or more.
In other Kiwanis news:
•Roger and Janey Ramey celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary at the June 3 meeting.
• President Diana Barnett discussed the upcoming July 24 Kiwanis Bicycle Safety Rodeo which promises to be bigger and better than the original. Barnett said there will be bicycles given away, door prizes, as well as health information courtesy of local providers and possibly another cookout courtesy of the Logan Shriners, along with an obstacle course for bicyclists, inflatable amusements and more.
•Members welcomed visitor Mary Etta Elliott the new president of the Logan County Community Fund board of directors. Elliott was the first woman member of the Kiwanis Club of Logan and it's first woman president.