Musical Now Has License Rights Available for Purchase

Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt
Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt

It All Began at the Guthrie

In 2007 the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota announced they would be debuting a new musical based on the “Little House” books. Although they said their source material was the books, not the NBC series, they definitely connected with the series through the casting of Melissa Gilbert as Ma and through their characterization of Nellie which matches the TV Nellie more than the books.

A Big Success

The show proved a big success with the original booking being extended by weeks for an audience ranging from normal theater people to Laura fans making the trip (buses went from the homesite towns, which is how I went). After it closed at the Guthrie in Fall 2008 it was announced the production would go on a national (actually international – they had one booking in Canada) tour. In a national tour a production travels from city to city as theaters book it with the same cast, etc. traveling with the show. Gilbert remained in the Ma role for this further production as did some of the other actors, others in the cast were replaced either due to scheduling difficulties or because they weren’t willing to travel that long for the show. I was particularly saddened by the loss of Carrie who was very good in the Guthrie production.

(Inter)National Tour

Announcements of bookings dribbled out during 2009 and then in October 2009 they were off! The play had been slightly retooled – which is normal – and traveled all around the country. When they played Sioux Falls (where I saw it), the cast even made a group trip up to DeSmet to see where some of the story really took place. The roadshow closed in early summer 2010. A couple of months later the gift shop that traveled with the show sold out excess branded merchandise. The official website slipped into an archived state without access to what had previously been posted.

Find out my details of this and a link to the archived version of the website on my history of the musical post.

What Happens Next?

Well, the hope of every such musical is to make it to Broadway and maybe even on to London. It’s sometimes a broken road there. Usually after a national tour one of three things happens:

  1. It goes straight to Broadway to try its luck there!
  2. It gets polished and retooled and tries another tour.
  3. Rights are offered for purchase for local productions.

So the show ended and what happened was…. nothing! At least in public. I assume there was at least some hope that it was going to have a chance at Broadway… or at least another shot at a tour. They don’t release rights for local productions until all hope for a big show is gone – at least for the immediate future.

Through 2013 the site remained operating in its archived state, then as a background screen, but preserving ownership through the first part of 2016 and I assume some hope remained. However, someone behind the scenes has now officially given up. The URL of the show is now an ad for a Japanese (in Japanese) diet supplement.

The Little House on the Prairie the Musical is now available for licensing!

 

The Good News

The positive part of this is that starting in Fall 2019 local groups will be able to put on productions of the show. Hopefully it will become popular and you’ll get to see a local production near you!

If you’re looking for buying, rights, scripts, etc. here you goThat’s what you’re going to want to pass on to your local theater groups, high schools, etc. and ask them to put on the show! They also have a digital preview version of the script.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2018

Photo in Wilder Farmhouse – Courtesy of Connie Jenkins

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

It’s time to get in the mood for the holidays and for many families attending a Laura Ingalls Wilder play. There are four titles that are currently running on the circuit.

  • A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
  • A Little House Christmas by James DeVita
  • Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek by Lisa Cordes

I’ve only found productions of the first two works this year, but I’ve included information for all four in case you want to encourage a local theater group to put one on for next year. Remind them there are only SO many versions of A Christmas Carol they can do and one of these might make a fun change.

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks

If you want your local group to try it next year, check out the script and production rights. Learn the basics. Check out the author’s page.

Here’s a clip from a production in 2012.

Columbia, TN

Nov. 16-17, 2018

Basic Information:
https://www.buildingblockarts.com/upcoming-events/xp36zzdffrx9mg4skkkc37tkyn8f8b

Building Block School for the Arts
Location: 700 Woodland Street
Columbia, TN 38401
E-mail: buildingblockarts@gmail.com

Phone: (931) 442-5007

Greenwood, SC

Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 15, 2018

Basic Information:
https://www.theabbevilleoperahouse.com/Show/Details/54

Abbeville Opera House
Location: 100 Court Square Abbeville, SC 29620
Email: operahouse@wctel.net
Phone: (864) 366-2157

“A Little House Christmas”

Check with the author for production rightsLearn more about him.

Shots from a production.

Eau Claire, WI

Dec. 7-8, 14-16, 2018

Basic Information:
https://ecct.org/upcoming-shows/a-little-house-christmas
ECCT

Location: 1814 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire, WI, 54701,

E-mail: info@ecct.org
Phone: (715) 839-8877

Lincoln, NE

December 7-9, 2018

Basic Information:
https://www.lincoln.org/play/event/144961-a-little-house-christmas

Lincoln Community Playhouse
Location: 2500 S 56th Street
Ticket Price: TBA
Time: TBA
Phone: (402) 489-7529

“Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Check out this clip from a 2009 production. No current productions found this year. Find out more if you want to put it on.

“A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek”

No current productions this year.

Here’s a story about it’s release.

UPDATED November 12 2018: Of course as soon as I published it I got a lead on another show. This one isn’t for Christmas, but I wanted to add it. Thanks to Judy Green for sharing about it.

“Patchwork – the Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

I hadn’t heard about this show before, but it looks like it was around since at least 2010, is aimed at an elementary school audience, and doesn’t seem to have had many performances – at least that hit the internet. It isn’t a Christmas show, but since there is a production coming in February I’m including it.

Toledo, OH

February 17, 2019

Basic Information:
https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/6606386/patchworkthe-little-house-life-of-laura-ingalls-wilder-toledo-valentine-theatre

Valentine Theatre
Location: 410 Adams St.
Toledo, OH 43604
E-mail: jjex@valentinetheatre.com (executive director)
Phone: (419) 242-3490

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently 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.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2017

It’s time to get in the mood for the holidays and for many families attending a Laura Ingalls Wilder play. There are four titles that are currently running on the circuit.

  • A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
  • A Little House Christmas by James DeVita
  • Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek by Lisa Cordes

Hoover 2010 Me and Bonnet Tree

There are only so many ways to do A Christmas Carol. Let your local community or small professional theater that you’d like to see them do one of these next year! And if I’ve missed one in your neck of the woods let me know so I can add it.

First – Not Christmas

Although this isn’t a Christmas play, I had to chase it down from a reference during my search and it’s right after Christmas so I’m listing it anyway.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie, Kathryn Schultz Miller; dir: Alan Knoll. Jan 9-Apr 8, 2018. Imaginary Theater Company St. Louis, MO
http://www.repstl.org/engage-learn/imaginary-theatre-company

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

A Laura Ingalls play for Christmas continues to be an on-going tradition, but either it’s a slow year or they’re doing a worse job than normal at promoting. I didn’t find as many as usual. Remember to ask your local theater about it RIGHT NOW before they set next year’s season.

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks

If you want your local group to try it next year, check out the script and production rights. Learn the basics. Check out the author’s page.

Check out a clip from a production in 2012.

Knoxville, TN

Friday, Dec. 15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16 @ 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 17 @ 2:30 p.m.

At Clayton Performing Arts Center -Pellissippi State Community College – Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37933

Tickets – $8-$12 – Available online and at the door.
To reach the Pellissippi Box Office, call 865-539-7529

http://wordplayers.org/current-season/mainstage-shows/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas-holiday-2017
https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=80574
https://us.eventbu.com/knoxville/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas/7582896

York, NE

December 5 – 9, 7:30 pm
December 10, 2:00 pm

Yorkshire Playhouse
517 N Lincoln Ave
PO Box 413
York, Nebraska

T (402) 362-7060 E yorktheater@gmail.com

https://www.yorkshireplayhouse.com/events-master/2017/12/5/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas

“A Little House Christmas”

Check with the author for production rights. Learn more about him.

Shots from a production.

Des Moines, IA

November 3 – November 26, 2017
7:00 PM Fridays; 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM Saturdays & Sundays; ADDED SHOW: 4:00 PM, Sunday, Nov. 26

Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre
831 42nd Street
Des Moines lA 50312
MAP IT

515.277.6261

https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/little-house-christmas

Bozeman, MT

December 2nd-December 17th, 2017

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017-3:00PM

Verge Theater
2304 North 7th Ave, Suite C-1
Bozeman, MT 59715

406-587-0737
info@vergetheater.com

https://vergetheater.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S37000004Jo09EAC
https://www.facebook.com/events/341368949667510/

“Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Check out this clip from a 2009 production. No current productions found this year. Find out more if you want to put it on.

“A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek”

No current productions this year.

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently 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.