I mentioned that I was looking for a particular Ozark Watch episode and that’s how I found the ones about the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield’s future plans and the one on Rock Architecture, but I finally found the one I was looking for and this is it, it’s on the Ozark Mountain Players and Laura’s Memories Pageant. The episode features four guests and talks about the history of the pageant. If you’ve only been to the pageants in Walnut Grove and De Smet, as great as they are, you’re missing out a great and totally different experience. I hope you can plan a trip to Mansfield during the pageant soon.
Opening scene repeats later in the episode until 1:04
Dale Moore the host does the introduction.
First 2 guests, Terry Spyres, the playwright, and Pat Allen, the composer and lyricist.
The pageant started in 1974 as part of Wilder Day. Their first production wasn’t Laura related it was a traditional Melodrama. (Includes photos) 3:00 Were then called the Silver Palace Players and started in the Legion Hall.
Stills of early shows, footage from last years show 5:30
Spyres worked at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum to get background, flavor, and find out what people’s favorite stories were. 6:30
Allen describes the creative process where Spyres would set up the scene and describe the kind of song she wanted and Allen would write the music. Their background was as elementary music teachers. 8:00
More footage of last year’s musical. The production isn’t static and is changed each year depending on make up of that year’s cast participants. Scenes evolve and some are new each year. 8:30
Muscians during performance 9:40
At least 7 families are 3 generations of participants 10:15
Talk about Neta Seal 13:15
Early photos including one of Garth Williams with the cast Alison Argrim, Kevin Hagen, and Dean Butler also get shoutouts 14:00
Switched interviewees to Eric Spyres, who has been with the group since melodramas was Pa for 1st 16 years, and Phil Bennett more old photos 16:00
Phil Bennett tells how he got involved. 17:30
Talking about family connections in the stories and the pageant 20:00
Locations of pageant 22:00 (Truly the auditorium seating is the best of any of the pageants. Comfortable plus back support) Thanks to Hutchinson Industries for helping make the seating.
UPDATE: Not a lot new to add here since this post is just from last year, it has been very popular. I’m still trying to get some of the folks behind the pageant to come on the podcast. I hope it works out soon. I’ll also point out that Phil Bennett who is one of those interviewed has commented on this post and also called in twice to my Laura Ingalls Wilder birthday episodes.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.