Royce S. Rolstad III, a longtime actor and director with the Panhandle Players, was elected earlier this month to head the county’s leading theatre troupe.

In a balloting system in which members could cast up to 13 votes for officers and members of the board, Rolsatd was named president at the July 9 meeting at the Raney House Carriage House, with Bob Inguagiato as vice-president. Remaining as treasurer is John Inzetta and as secretary, Caroline Ilardi,

Selected for the board of directors were Ed Aguiar, Sally Crown, Lydia Countryman, Melanie Inzetta, Robbie Johnson, Elaine Kozlowski, Hank Kozlowski, Judy Loftus and Katie McFarland.

Rolstad joined the Panhandle Players in 2001 and acted for the first time with the organization while still a student at Apalachicola High School. Through the years he has performed in several plays and directed the 2007 production of "A Christmas Carol".”

He was asked to join the board of directors in 2005 and served until 2010. Rolstad took a few years off from the board and acting and returned to the stage in April in this year’s drama, "The Jury Room.

Rolstad takes over for Margy Oehlert and Bob Inguagiato who served as co-presidents in recent years.

"The Panhandle Players hold a special place in my heart because this is where I got over my fear of public speaking. I am thrilled to be back on the board and serving as president of a great organization,” said Rolstad. “I am really looking forward to working with both new and old board members to continue bringing quality, professional productions to the Franklin County community.” – By DAVID ADLERSTEIN