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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Saturday, August 1, 2009
American Fork History and Heritage Pageant

You might think a cemetery is a strange place for historical pageants; it seems just about right to me. In any case, the American Fork Cemetery is, for three evenings, the city's social and artistic hub.

The annual American Fork History and Heritage Pageant begins this evening and also runs Monday and Tuesday evenings. It's an enjoyable mix of short outdoor dramatic productions about historical figures buried in the American Fork Cemetery (which is also the venue and is a delightful, scenic place to spend an August evening), cheap ice cream cones, free carriage rides, and good music. It's even rather economical at $10 per family, with one night's ticket admitting you for the other nights, too.

I've acted in a couple of past vignettes, including last year's (pardon my self-congratulation) comical treatment of a deputy US marshal pursuing a polygamist in drag. Perhaps you recall "I'll Be Wearing a Badge. He'll Be Wearing a Dress." and "Blackmail Photos"?

My contribution this year is writing the script for the Hap Holmstead vignette, based on a stack of biographical information handed to me by the organizers a few months ago. A few years ago I wrote a script for a Thomas Featherstone vignette, so I've now written two of them from scratch, besides substantially rewriting last year's polygamist comedy. Reading the journals and biographies is lots of fun. The writing is mostly fun, too, but I struggled this year to present a decidedly interesting life in a way I thought would hold the audience's attention for 10 or 15 minutes. So far, there's good feedback about the script from the Holmstead family, but we'll see how it goes in production. I won't be there tonight, but I will attend Monday evening and possibly Tuesday evening also. I never seem to get to everything in a single evening.

For more information, see Barbara Christiansen's recent Daily Herald article about the pageant.

Shirl LeBaron comments (9/3/09, via Facebook):

Thanks for promoting. Heres a link to the page on the city's website. I wish it were on the home page.

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