BY JODI CAMP

JCAMP@FRANKLINFAVORITE.COM

After a change of location the play titled "This Place We Call Home," written to coincide with the bicentennial celebrations, opened Saturday, July 6 to a packed audience.

"They always say that if you have a really bad dress rehearsal it is going to be a great performance and that is exactly what happened," said Brownie Bennett, producer of the play and director of the Franklin-Simpson Community Arts Council.

Due to weather concerns, the play was moved from its original location at F-S Jim Roberts Community Park to Lincoln to protect the props, sets and the actors.

"It was a hard decision because we really thought it would be great outside, but the weather we just couldn't take that chance," Bennett said.

Joyce Pais, principal of Lincoln Elementary said she was happy they could help keep the play's scheduled performance date.

Even with the forecast calling for rain and storms, almost every seat in the elementary school gym was

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filled with a captive audience.

"It was a really good audience especially when they started singing and clapping and laughing along with it," said Morgan Cook, an actress in the production.

With 31 cast members playing almost 80 different parts, Cook said preparing was a challenge with trying to keep track of who was playing which role.

"It all came together in the end and we had fun doing it," she said.

Jackie Taylor, another actress in the play, said the play consisted of hard work and hiccups during practice, but it was worth it all in the end to see it all come together.

"I was very happy and nervous, but after we got started all of that went away," Taylor said.

Gary Weilage said during the scene he and Cook have to play 90-year olds they could never keep their faces straight and even when the time came time for scene for show time they still had trouble keeping their composure.

"This was the best we ever did and we still lost it a little bit on stage," he said.

Pais said the play was wonderful and that it had humor. She thought the actors did a great job of performing the play and that Debbie Thornton did a great job writing the story.

"It was such a beautiful rendition of Simpson County and the years, just the life of Simpson County," Pais said.

Debbie Thornton, director and writer, said she thought the play came together amazingly well.

"It was beautiful, they did a great job," Thornton said. "I am so proud of the cast."

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