It's hard to believe that the Museum Road Show starts in only three weeks! No pressure! With Linda Pack as the director, rehearsals move briskly. It may be fun, but the play isn't all play. Blocking - that's coming up with the directions for actors to move around the stage layout - is being finished this week. Next week, costumes. The prop wranglers, from Braggadoon Signs (our official go-to group for everything graphical) are readying the accoutrements of law enforcement in the late 1800s. With a nod to present-day law enforcement and laws regarding toy guns, it has been challenging to find authentic-looking guns for re-enactment of a famously lethal gun battle. And we are all looking forward to a most creative rendition of an on-stage stage coach, which is currently being assembled.
The road for the Museum Road Show School Assembly program has been intense and educational for elementary students in three fortunate schools and for Museum Road Show actors. While it's our first foray into the classroom, it will not be our last. We're now asking for feedback from the teachers involved and the performers and, from them, will glean guidance for a new improved Mendocino County Museum program for next school year.
Thank you to the elementary schools in Potter Valley, Anderson Valley, and Frank Zeek/Ukiah for booking the Museum Road Show into your busy schedules!
Thank you to Linda Pack, Kate Magruder, Billy Hetherington, and David Alden for the alchemy of their theatrical and musical talents that bring Mendocino County history to schools in a unique and lively way.
Next stop for the unstoppable Museum Road Show Troupe - Anderson Valley Elementary School. Playing to a captivated (and captive) audience, Linda Pack, Kate Magruder, Billy Hetherington, and Dave Alden brought their talents to another valley in our multi-valleyed county. This was particularly fitting because the Gschwend name shows up in Anderson Valley and Dave Alden wrote a song about Walter Gswend's wild ride (break-neck pace, all night, no brakes) over Low Gap to Needle Rock on the coast!
While busy rehearsing the 2015 Museum Road Show, some of our actors are engaging in extracurricular activities by going to school! We wanted to share the Museum Road Show with students during this school year. So Linda Pack did her homework and came up with intriguing excerpts from the 2014 script. We added posters of photos and maps. Kate Magruder, Billy Hetherington and David Alden, from the band All About Sally, joined in and the Museum Road Show is going to school! The program focuses on Grades 4 & 5, when local history and California history are part of the curriculum. After the performance, there's a chance for curious questions and lively answers. The Museum put together a brief Performance Guide for teachers. We're pioneering this approach this school year with plans to roll the program out much earlier in the next school year.
The first rehearsal for the 2015 Show took place on January 24th. The creative crew and production folks have been meeting since September 2014, each month adding a needed technical specialist to the group. But Saturday was the day that all the actors came on board and everyone got to meet each other. There were familiar faces from last year and some new ones. It was exciting to hear the script read aloud around the table for the first time. All About Sally wove in their songs; even playing informally, they sounded amazing. A new show is born! [AG]
We've checked out the spaces, reserved the places, and moved dates around like puzzle pieces. The Mendocino County Museum Road Show is starting its journey to 2015.
The "we" refers to our intrepid team of:
Without further ado, the dates and venues for 2015!
The Mendocino County Museum has unfolded its maps, ready to chart the county-wide course for the 2015 Museum Roadshow. We're adding some great landmarks along the way.
From last year's line-up:
If you missed the Museum Road Show when it toured in your neck of the county, or if you want to relive the music, drama and laughter, LISTEN UP! KZYX&Z 90.7 & 91.5 will air a recording of the Museum Road Show on Wednesday July 23 at 8 pm - a very special broadcast of Radiogram! The broadcast is of the final performance of the 2014 Museum Road Show, which took place before an amazing audience at Eagle's Hall in Fort Bragg.
The Museum Road Show Programme is shown below.
The Museum Road Show made it through its inaugural weekend with flying colors. What a Show! What Acting! What Singing! And the audiences were great!
They might not have known what to expect, but they were intrigued, and they came. And they listened and laughed, felt the solemn moments and the rumbling sound effects, sang and clapped.
It's all about remembering and understanding the past, whether it's our own personal past or not, and celebrating the places and connecting the communities where we live. (It's also all about All About Sally, the wonderful Museum Road Show Band, and Linda Pack being an excellent director.)
One hundred forty-four (144) people showed up in Willits for the first ever public performance. Ninety (90) people joined us for the second show on a rainy Saturday night in Philo, most buying their tickets at the door! Thank you for your curiosity and your enthusiasm!
For our future audiences, please note that online sales of tickets for the Ukiah and Fort Bragg shows are proportionately larger. The Mendocino College Little Theatre in Ukiah holds fewer than 200 people and we won't be able to squeeze extra folks in. It is possible that Ukiah tickets will be limited at the door on performance night. We highly encourage buying tickets in advance, online, at Mendocino Book Company, or at the Mendocino County Museum in Willits.
Eagle's Hall in Fort Bragg will hold over 200 folks, so it can handle visitors from other areas for those who want to make the trek. After the rigors of travel 100 years ago, we've got it easy.
Opening night is here! After countless rehearsals, and incremental evolution of sound effects, lights, cues, blocking, finding props, testing costumes, memorizing lines, it all comes together now. Huge and deep-felt thanks to Linda Pack for making this story come true, for gathering a troupe of passionate and professional actors and crew, inspiring a group of creative designers and builders, and bringing Mendocino County history to dramatic life.