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Fort Harrod Outdoor Drama Suspended Until 2019

There will be no outdoor theater at Old Fort Harrod State Park this year.

The board of directors of the Ragged Edge Community Theatre have voted to suspend production of “James Harrod: The Battle For Kentucky” this year. A production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” which was scheduled to open the outdoor drama season in June has been moved to Ragged Edge.

“The board only thinks of this as a suspension, not as a permanent closing,” said Allan Barlow, the managing director at Ragged Edge.

The state shut down the James Harrod Conference Center, which Ragged Edge used to store costumes for the outdoor drama, because of mold last year.

Barlow said the theater had planned to rent a trailer for this year’s production. But earlier this year, the state condemned parts of the backstage area as well, Barlow said.

Until the condemned areas are replaced and other repairs are made, he said there was no way to mount a play this year.

“It’s just too wide a river to cross this year,” Barlow said. “We’re just a little community theater. We don’t have the budget.”

Until 2004, the amphitheater was home to “The Legend of Daniel Boone.” When that production closed, it sat empty for eight years until the park joined with Ragged Edge to bring outdoor drama back to Harrodsburg.

Volunteers cleaned up the site, but there was only so much they could do. Animals had chewed up the wiring at the Convention Center, leaving the air conditioning inoperative.

“We’ve been dodging a bullet for years,” said Barlow, who starred as James Harrod until last year. He said the backstage stairway gave way under him two years ago.

Both Barlow and David Coleman, park manager at Old Fort Harrod, vow that outdoor drama will return in 2019.

“The plan is to have it ready and running next summer,” Coleman said.

Daniel Boone (Tim White) squares off against James Harrod (Than Cutler) in last year’s production of “James Harrod: The Battle For Kentucky.” The outdoor drama will not return until repairs are made to the backstage area, officials say.

When the play resumes production, there will be a new palisade wall and backstage area.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.

6 Comments

  1. Kent Hadden on May 15, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I’d like to see the Daniel Boone outdoor drama open up again .I saw it with our church group a few years ago. Loved it we came from Northern Indiana.

  2. Steve Rogers on June 24, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Even having grown up in Harrodsburg, I *loved* The Legend of Daniel Boone and would go every summer, sometimes multiple times a summer. Please bring it back. As an adult with my own family I would love to bring my kids and their families to see it. It would be an every-summer treat for us.

  3. Tom O'Brien on June 29, 2019 at 11:16 am

    As a former Summer Outdoor Theater actor (summer of 1982 at Harrodsburg), I would love to see you keep the show going on at Old Fort Harrod. I had one of the best summers of my life there, and have lived to talk about it!! I am praying for Alan Barlow and company to have much success in what seems like a very challenging project! Break a leg Alan!

  4. Jerry Seery on July 14, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    We traveled ever year to Fort Harrod to see the outdoor drama for Kansas. Please bring it back!

  5. Cynthia Brown on May 24, 2020 at 8:31 am

    I brought my adult children to Kentucky from California in 1989, 1991 and 1997 to see The Legend of Daniel Boone. I would love to see it open again to bring my grandchildren to see.

  6. Jim Rogers on May 22, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Used to go every summer to see it .It is a great memory of my childhood and times with my family

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