"The Aracoma Story — Spirits and Legends," a staple theatrical production at the Liz Spurlock Amphitheatre in the bosom of the Chief Logan State Park, has received a few updates to its script that helps connect the age-old love story to a modern audience.
Director Bill France, a veteran of The Aracoma Story stage, was in high spirits as his talented cast and crew geared up for a run-through dress rehearsal for family and friends Monday evening.
France is no stranger to "The Aracoma Story," as he has
performed in several shows over the years and was the youngest actor to ever portray the role of Boling Baker in "The Aracoma Story."
Actor Cody Vinson again this year plays Boling Baker, a young scout from General Braddock’s Army who is captured from death by Aracoma, the daughter of Indian Chief Cornstalk.
Like Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet," the timeless love story recounts the tale of a young man and young woman whose affection continues to grow as they,
themselves grow into their
respective roles and responsibilities.
The play asserts that Princess Aracoma and Boling Baker were married despite great odds — both socially and culturally. The pair moved into the valley sometime close to the year 1760 and lived in peace on an island — the city of Logan — until 1780.
The story behind the play is based on details of an incident that
supposedly occurred in the region more than 200 years ago.
Then, according to published reports, in 1915, while the Abdoney Building was being constructed on the 100 Block of Stratton Street, workers uncovered a grave that was eight-feet deep and buried considerably deeper than the other Shawnee Indian graves in the county.
According to published reports, the grave held a skeleton of a young woman wearing a necklace of
buckwheat beads. Located at the bend of the Guyandotte River, almost exactly where folklore claims the Princess Aracoma was laid to rest 200 years earlier.
Actress Rachel Noe portrays Princess Aracoma again this year, surrounded by a supportive staff of other volunteer actors and actresses, whose only compensation is a round of applause, as the theatre
production greeter is quick to remind audience members.
In this year’s production, Keith Muncey plays Chief Cornstalk; Christine Runyon acts as Dreamteller; Laua Hatfield portrays Oceana; Scott Abbott is the Medicine Man; Phillip Williamson plays Chief Logan; Dennie Carver is Crazy Wolf.
The production will run from July 21 until Aug. 8 in the
outdoor amphitheatre. Audience members are encouraged to bring raingear and blankets to the performance, as the weather can sometimes be unpredictable.
Concession items and
restrooms are also easily accessible and the facility is ADA compliant. The annual performance draws crowds from all across the United States and families are strongly encouraged to attend.
For more information or to contact the board of directors of The Aracoma Story, call 752-0253 or by email at
The Liz Spurlock Ampitheater will be host to "Jungle Book Kids" on Aug.10 -15, following "The Aracoma Story — Spirits and Legends."