And the Oscar goes to …

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm

Reporter – News Analyst

Fort Clinch Superintendent Ben Faure distributes programs to an early audience.
Fort Clinch Superintendent Ben Faure distributes programs to an early audience.

Fernandina Beach is never short on history-loving volunteers The Amelia Island Museum of History serves as an outlet for their many talents and interests in promoting local history and showcasing important characters and events. Saturday’s Viva Florida! celebration in Old Town was an opportunity for these community-minded folks to make their mark on local history in a play that condensed centuries of unique characters and stories into about an hour-long production.  Even though characters had to brave the stiff breezes of the Old Town Plaza and compete with a noisy dredge just off shore in the Amelia River, their efforts were rewarded by a grateful audience.

Jennifer Harrison, Playwright
Jennifer Harrison, Playwright
Amelia Hart, Director
Amelia Hart, Director

Old Town resident and Museum Trustee Jennifer Harrison conceived of the play and researched the characters.  Museum Volunteer Coordinator Thea Seagraves produced the epic and through her considerable talents and efforts managed to costume every character in period.  Amelia Hart offered her services as director, following in her family’s tradition in local theater.   Gray Edenfield, the Museum’s Education Coordinator, managed to play a role in the play in addition to overseeing the entire event.  Kudos to the cast members: Arva Butler (Flora Clarke); Brenda Brubeck (Lady No. 2/Belle); Janet Cote-Merow (Maria Mattair); Gray Edenfield (Louis Aury); Arlene Filkoff (Lady No. 1); Mike Harrison (George Clarke); Linda Janca (Mary Mattair);  Allen and Sharon Lennon (Narrators); Flags (Annette Rawls); Gregor McGregor (Steve Rawls); Priest (Thea Seagraves).

Multi-talented Thea Seagraves dons priest's robes for her role in the play.
Multi-talented producer Thea Seagraves dons priest’s robes for her role in the play.

While the audience appreciated all the performers, Pirate Luis Aury and the two ladies from Ladies Street garnered the loudest laughs and applause.  Many people who missed the performance on Saturday have expressed interest in a reprise.


Meanwhile, enjoy some photos of Fernandina’s “Almost Ready For Prime Time Players” …


Sharon and Allen Lennon
Sharon and Allen Lennon narrate the story.


Gregor MacGregor
Steve Rawls as Gregor MacGregor










Two "ladies" of Ladies Street
Two “ladies” of Ladies Street played by Arlene Filkoff and Brenda Brubeck


Mr. and Mrs. George Clarke
Mr. and Mrs. George Clarke as portrayed by Arva Butler and Mike Harrison


Pirate Luis kAury
Gray Edenfield plays Pirate Luis Aury










Finishing to a standing ovation.
Finishing to an almost  standing ovation.



And it was standing room only ...
And it was standing room only …

Visit the Amelia Island Museum of History to learn more about Fernandina’s unique history!

September 30, 2013 3:45 p.m.

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Dave Lott
Dave Lott(@dave-l)
10 years ago

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this effort. In this world of video cameras everwhere I can’t believe there is a YouTube waiting to go viral.