Edmonson County Arts Council Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Female Version Of "The Odd Couple," Reflects On Past
Darren Doyle, story
Scott Skaggs, photos
Edmonson County Arts Council President Ricky Skaggs said that while 30 years is a long time, its' gone by quickly, and it's hard to believe that's how long it's been since the formation of the local dinner theater organization.
"We started this when I was young, and now I'm not," Skaggs said. "But I still love to make people laugh for just a little while and forget the daily troubles."
And lots of laughs he's helped create as the non-profit organization has held countless productions over the years with humble beginnings at the Brownsville Community Center back in the 80's.
"We started with our first production way back when of "Our Town," where we had a professional Director that the Arts Council paid to do the play. I became President the next year where I and Craig Browning, Chairman of Board of Directors at the time, came up with the idea of the Green River Amphitheater, where we performed "The Death of Floyd Collins" by Tim Hatcher. We did that for 16 years along with dinner theaters that were made possible by Arlene Skaggs and Jewell Newkirk who served as our cooks, and these two women were gifts from God. We then were able to move to the high school were we could cook, serve, and do the play all in the same building."
Skaggs was pleased with the recent performance of the female version of "The Odd Couple," held at ECHS this past Saturday.
"We had two first time performers with Sandy Bledsoe and Jackie Alford, along with Anthony Simon who came back after several years to help out this time," said Skaggs. "Then we had our old timers, Katie and Cody Tennison, Angie Hughes, Sue Fitzpatrick and of course the biggest ham of all, me."
Skaggs also pointed out that while providing good family entertainment along with a great meal is a positive experience the council has enjoyed over the years, he's even more proud of those that they've been able to help along the way.
"We're able to help out students of Edmonson County with our annual scholarship that not only requires excellent grades, but high character, morals, and we factor in if the student or their family has been part of the Arts Council at any time."
He said the scholarship is something the council has always been honored to provide and it was awarded to ECHS Senior Caleb Skaggs during Saturday's performance. He received a $1000 scholarship.
"We have some of the greatest children right here in Edmonson County and with our scholarship, maybe they will go out in the world and let other people see how great they are."
He also noted the partnership between the council and the Chalybeate Homemakers, which allows them to raise money for Adopt-an-Angel program with Edmonson County Schools. The homemakers also have been able to make donations to the American Cancer Society.
"The Arts Council takes a ton of effort and hard work, but with all the great help we get and the support of my great family, it ends up looking easy," Skaggs said.
"God put us in a great county and it is a pleasure to show others just how great it is through our young men and women. I wouldn't have it any other way."