DCCA News: Pursuing the American dream


Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Little House series of books chronicles the history of those stalwart pioneers who pursued the American dream as they built their lives and this country; the tales are a testament to not only the historic past of the United States of America, but also to the intrinsic values of the nation and its people.

When Darke County Center for the Arts’ Family Theatre Series presents ArtsPower National Touring Theatre’s production of Laura Ingalls Wilder at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Jan. 29, that story and those values will be vibrantly on display to inform, inspire and invigorate local audiences of all ages.

Begun in 1932 when the author was in her 60s, Ingalls’ fictionalized account of her families’ struggles, challenges, and triumphs as well as her own transformation to womanhood also tells the story of America’s growth and maturation. As the parents instill their children with confidence, courage, love, and a sense that each member of the family has an important role to play if goals are to be accomplished, the youngsters strive to become the best persons they can possibly be. This musical based on those Little House books takes a close look at the relationships among Laura and her family which made possible the personal strengths that drove the sense of endless possibility motivating the pioneer spirit. That spirit, instilled in our past, valued in our present, and fueling our future, epitomizes the American ideal of trailblazing innovation.

Committed to enriching children’s lives through the performing arts, ArtsPower takes pride in introducing audiences to characters who help children embrace the possibilities within themselves; but the theater company also knows that only by presenting engaging, entertaining shows will they achieve their greater goal. This creation of playwright Greg Gunning and composer Richard DeRosa tells a straightforward yet inspiring story with warmth, humor, and dynamic music. ArtsPower National Touring Theatre debuted Laura Ingalls Wilder in 1995, and it has been a hit with audiences across the country ever since.

DCCA is faced with many challenges when choosing suitable presentations for the Family Theatre Series, including finding shows that will attract both boys and girls and appeal to a broad age range. ArtsPower’s Laura Ingalls Wilder easily meets and overcomes those challenges. All age groups and both sexes will appreciate the adventurous spirit displayed as family members encounter disappointments, uncertainty, and heartbreak, as well as the joys and triumphs of daily life.

DCCA officials intend for their Family Theatre Series presentations to be accessible to families of all sizes and demographics, and work to keep tickets prices as low as possible. General admission tickets for Laura Ingalls Wilder are just $5, and can be reserved by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or [email protected] or purchased on-line at www.centerforarts.net. Tickets are also available at the Greenville Public Library and Readmore’s Hallmark in Greenville, as well as at Worch Memorial Public Library in Versailles, and if any remain by showtime will be sold at the box office prior to the performance which starts at 2 p.m.


By Marilyn Delk


Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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