CHIPLEY — It was a delicious roast, even if the main course did survive the heat.
Tickets were devoured for the “Man of the Hour Roast” of Chipley City Council member and President of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Kevin Russell.


CHIPLEY — It was a delicious roast, even if the main course did survive the heat.
Tickets were devoured for the “Man of the Hour Roast” of Chipley City Council member and President of the Spanish Trail Playhouse Kevin Russell.



The sold out show was held at the Washington County Agriculture Center on Thursday.



Some of those “roasting” Russell were associated with the Spanish Trail Playhouse. Rachel Webb, former City Council Member Cheryl McCall (Russell took her place on the council) and Vernon High School Principal Brian Riviere.



Though their remarks about him were a little “short,” friends, family members and associates all ended their fiery performances on a kind note, all with good to say about Russell.



At the end of the performance Russell had his chance for “revenge,” but was short lived as he went into words of thanks to all those who have supported him.



He thanked the women who raised him without a father, the grandfather who regaled him with stories, his high school drama teacher Luwana Locke, his church, his co-workers, his mentors and many supporters.



All proceeds from the show went to benefit the Spanish Trail Playhouse.



The Spanish Trail Playhouse started in 1962, under the leadership of Ann Jensen, Howard Pelham, Mickey Balaban, and Ralph Nolan, according to the theater’s website.  After completing two successful seasons, The Florida Arts Council recognized the Spanish Trail Playhouse in 1964 as a Charter Member, a position they would hold for the next four years.



The Spanish Trail Playhouse ran for seven very successful years but after their final performance of “The Sound of Music,” the playhouse closed its curtains for the last time in fall of 1968, according to the website.



In August of 2006, under the leadership of Kevin Russell, work began to bring the Spanish Trail Playhouse back to Washington County. The Playhouse became incorporated through the state of Florida on April 8, 2007. The first public organization meeting, held at the Washington County Public Library, took place on Sept. 4, 2007.



On Sept. 5, 2008, merely one year since its reestablishment, the Spanish Trail Playhouse officially opened its curtain again, with a 3-day performance of “Steel Magnolias.” This production was sponsored by the Washington County Tourist Development Council and the Washington County Arts Council, and took place at the Chipley High School Auditorium, as the playhouse did not have a permanent home. In July 2008, the Spanish Trail Playhouse took over the lease of the Historic Chipley High School Auditorium, where the Playhouse is still in residence.



“Without the tremendous support of all those who were involved in my life I would’ve never came this far,” said Russell. “For that there are no words to express the deep gratitude I feel for all of you. Thank you.”