Laura Ingalls Wilder: Growing up on the Prairie

Based on Wilder’s own childhood experiences, which she began recording in her 60s, this original musical delights young audiences with the adventures of the spirited pioneer girl and her family.  ArtsPower’s Laura Ingalls Wilder is being presented by Cache Valley Center for the Arts at the Ellen Eccles Theatre on February 20, 2015. The performance begins at 7:00PM. Tickets are available at www.CacheArts.org, (435)752-0026 or at the box office 43 S Main St in Logan.
 
The Cache Valley Center for the Arts has made it possible for Laura Ingalls Wilder to be enjoyed by kids in surrounding elementary schools through the student matinee program.  The matinee is offered completely free to students as a service of the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.
 
“We’re excited to see American history come to life on stage through the childhood experiences of treasured author Laura Ingalls Wilder,” said Roby Hoth, Arts Education Coordinator of the CVCA.  “I grew up reading these stories myself.  It’s so much easier to relate to history when it’s told from the perspective of another kid, especially one that I can relate to.  It makes it more exciting, more relevant to me, personally.”  Of all our matinees this season, Laura Ingalls was first choice for many of our 3-5 grade teachers.  One teacher said, “This will go perfectly with our Utah History curriculum!”  It appears as though we will have a full house for both matinees.
 
ArtsPower National Touring Theatre's beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles the exciting adventures of the Ingalls family as they travel across the prairie in search of a little house to call home.
 
Laura Ingalls Wilder follows the tomboyish Laura, her older sister Mary, her Ma, and her Pa as they travel across the unsettled frontier of the late-1800s American Midwest.  Many challenges threaten the Ingalls family’s security, including Indian attacks, disease, and devastating crop losses.  Powered by their devotion to each other and an unwavering “pioneering spirit,” they are able to overcome anything.
 
The show features a lush musical score with five original songs, among them “Move On,” which captures the restlessness and excitement of loading up the covered wagon to find a new home, and “Fishin’,” a duet in which Laura and Pa laugh and share tall tales at their favorite fishing hole.
 
Mrs. Ingalls would like Laura to pay more attention to her studies, but lessons make Laura feel like a misfit – especially when she compares herself unfavorably to the “smarter” Mary.
 
Yet in the end, it is her love for Mary that helps Laura overcome her insecurities.  When Mary is blinded by scarlet fever, Laura becomes her sister’s eyes.  She entertains Mary with outlandish descriptions of everything around them in another of the show’s songs, “Seein’ Things I Never Saw Before.”  In the process, Laura discovers her own talent for storytelling, the same talent that will someday bring her national fame as one of America’s best-loved children’s authors.
 
Written and directed by ArtsPower Artistic Director Greg Gunning with music by his longtime collaborator Richard DeRosa, Laura Ingalls Wilder has been a hit with audiences since its premiere in 1995.
 
Mark and Gary Blackman founded ArtsPower in 1985 and have been steering its course ever since.  ArtsPower has grown into one of America’s largest and most active producers of professional theatre for young and family audiences. Its 27 professional touring productions have been seen by 12 million people in 48 states – from Alaska to Florida – in some of the nation’s top regional theatres, university auditoriums, and cultural centers, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and Lincoln Center in New York.   
 
“At ArtsPower, we are committed to enriching children’s lives through the performing arts,” said executive producer Gary Blackman.  “By introducing our audiences to enthusiastic characters like Laura, children can see new possibilities in life and in themselves.  Since many of our musicals and dramas are based on popular and classic literature for young readers, we ignite their desire to read.”

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