Last of Mohican drama to expand showings in new venue

LAKE GEORGE - The Last of the Mohicans outdoor drama, envisioned by many to develop into a major regional tourist attraction, will be expanding both its number of shows and audience capacity this summer as it moves to a new venue at Wild West Ranch off Bloody Pond Rd.

The site change is occurring amid a continuing effort toward launching a large-scale permanent production housed in its own dedicated theater, drama founder Michael Dufault told county leaders recently.

The debut of the drama last year in the courtyard of Fort William Henry over several days drew sellout crowds as it wowed audiences.

This first full-length production of the outdoor drama was complete with cannon and musket fire, characters bearing fiery torches, Native American drumming and dancing, live horses, and special effects including pyrotechnics.

Dufault gave a presentation to the Warren County Board of Supervisors Nov. 19, lobbying for continuing support of the drama through county occupancy tax funding.

Dufault said that with the move to Wild West Ranch, the Mohican drama will be expanding from a run of six performances in 2010 to between 14 and 17 in 2011. The cast will expand from 18 to 24 actors, and the size, scope and realism of the production will increase, he said.

"We want to do it bigger, better and longer in 2011," he said.

Wild West Ranch's enclosed rodeo arena, will likely host shows during rainstorms - which isn't feasible at the Fort William Henry, he said.

The outdoor setting at the ranch, also offers a more expansive performance space, allowing for more special effects, and more horses, he said.

Dufault and the other board members of the Mohican drama's sponsoring non-profit organization are planning for the drama to expand into a major permanent offering with 50 shows or more within several years, Dufault said.

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