Stories from all over:
Mendocino County Museum Road Show
covers county's history
Friday, March 13
Show Starts: 7:30 p.m.
Doors Open: 7:00 p.m.
$15 for Adults
$12 for seniors (ages 65 and over)
$10 for youth (ages 18 and under)
Click here to...
Tickets are available:
- Online through www.MendocinoMuseum.org.
- By calling the Museum at (707) 459-2736.
- Visiting the Mendocino County Museum at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits during open hours, 10 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday through Sunday.
- Local ticket sales: The Four-Eyed Frog in Gualala.
- Tickets available at the door.
by Roberta Werdinger
All photos taken by Nathan DeHart Photography
The Mendocino County Museum presents the 2015 Mendocino County Museum Road Show, coming in March to a local theater near you.
Now in its second year, the show features enactments of oral history stories by noted local actors and is accompanied by music
both original and traditional by Americana trio, All About Sally. The Museum Road Show will play over the span of three weekends
in March, at 7:30 pm for one night only each, at the following venues: Saturday, March 7 at Willits High School; Friday,
March 13 at Arena Theater in Point Arena; Saturday, March 14 at SPACE Theater in Ukiah; Friday, March 20 at the Anderson
Valley Grange in Philo; and Saturday, March 21 at Cotton Auditorium in Fort Bragg. There will be an additional matinee at 2 pm on
Sunday, March 15 at SPACE Theater in Ukiah. Doors open one half hour early for guests to enjoy refreshments and pre-show music.
"We're bringing history to the people, bringing it alive, using the real words of the people who lived those stories," states
Museum Road Show Artistic Director Linda Pack. Pack created the show from oral history accounts and historical archives with help
from Ukiah Players Theatre director Kate Magruder. Pack and Magruder also act in the show, along with local talent Rick Allan, Ricci
Dedola, Billy Hetherington, Nichole Phillips, and Tony Rakes. An old-fashioned proscenium arch, period costumes, and archival photos
projected onto the stage flesh out the drama, along with tunes such as "Lorena," a song whose strains used to drift between enemy
campfires at night after the battles of the Civil War. An original tune by All About Sally member Dave Alden, "Ballad of Black Bart,"
will also debut during the show.
Mendocino County is a far-flung and diverse region, both geographically and culturally, and this season's Museum Road Show reflects
that. Stories range from the long-lived Lucy Young, a Native woman whose grandfather foresaw the coming of Europeans, to some
regrettably short-lived members of the Coates and Frost families, whose members took part in a multigenerational feud in Willits
based on differing loyalties in the Civil War. Along the way we meet Jeremiah "Doc" Standley, a Ukiah-based sheriff who talked an
angry mob out of attacking a group of Chinese immigrant railroad workers on the Coast; Helen Carpenter, mother of Grace Hudson, whose
trek west from Kansas was so arduous that she and her companions had to jettison their cookstove before descending into Potter Valley;
and the inimitable Black Bart, part gentleman, part criminal, who was known for robbing Wells Fargo bank safes and leaving poetry in
his wake. Equally important are small stories and tall tales, part of the everyday life of people making their lives in a raw and
often unfamiliar terrain: encounters with grizzly bears, children surviving third-degree burns, and a humorous recital of the
near-endless chores that make up one woman's day. We learn how people cooked their food (including a recipe for cooking grey
squirrel in Boontling, the lingo invented by Boonville residents), how they loved and fought, and how they came together to challenge
near-impossible odds. In this way, everyday lives are acknowledged and honored.
Collaborating on the script for the Road Show was a fruitful one for both Pack and Magruder, who have each been working with local
stories for many years, Pack on the Coast and Magruder inland. While retelling people's stories through the Road Show, Pack comments,
"We are moved by the experience. Nobody made up Helen Carpenter. Nobody made up 'Doc' Standley or Lucy Young. They're like you, like me,
doing the best they can in a real world with real things. And they did it right here where we are."
"Where we are" includes the Mendocino County Museum, which sponsors and produces the Museum Road Show. Located in Willits, the
geographical center of the county, the Museum decided to "take to the road" (via the Museum Road Show, that is) as a way of reaching
folks directly in their communities to reflect their history and heritage back to them. The Museum itself is packed with stories and
artifacts from every corner of the large and diverse county it represents, including a newly opened and notable display on Native
Peoples of Mendocino County, entitled "Woven Worlds." Alison Glassey, Museum Director, is committed to "The Mendocino County Museum
is all about our local communities and cultures and this is a creative and unique way to understand and present them."
Tickets for the 2015 Mendocino County Museum Road Show are now on sale. The Road Show sold out most of its venues last year, so
purchasing tickets in advance is advised. The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 65 and over) and $10 for youth (ages 18
and under). Tickets are available online through www.MendocinoMuseum.org,
by calling the Museum at (707) 459-2736, or visiting the
Mendocino County Museum at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits during open hours, 10 am to 4:30 pm Wednesday through Sunday.
Additional ticket sales locations will be listed on the website.