August 27, 2007

'Songs From the Tall Grass' can soon be heard at the PAC

Tickets on sale now for the Sept. 22 musical production

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Soon the Dassel-Cokato Performing Arts Center will be transformed into a scene from the days of pioneers with the musical performance of “Songs From the Tall Grass.”

It first debuted at Washington D.C.’s historic Ford Theater in 2001. Six year’s later, the arts association is proud to be co-sponsoring such a renowned performance.

“Songs From the Tall Grass” is set in the pioneer days of America and tells the story of a homestead family and its difficult, yet rewarding, journey.

The musical theatre performance is based on diaries and journals explaining the thoughts and emotions that encompass early prairie life.

The story was created after writer and musician Randy Hale (also the great-grandson of three sets of Oklahoma homesteaders), along with his wife, Emily Corey, took their two kids on a journey through the Midwest in search of lost songs from the 1800s.

The DC Arts Association brings “Songs From the Tall Grass,” in collaboration with the Hutchinson Theatre Company and Litchfield Theatre, Inc., according to Colleen Compton, executive director of the arts association.

Since the three organizations are hoping to make this an event, not just a stage performance, ticket holders will also have the opportunity to view a number of prairie artwork on display in the lobby, according to Compton.

She has only heard wonderful comments from others, and Compton is excited to see the production for herself.

“The story is inspiring, the acting well done, and the music is beautiful,” Compton reported.

Compton and representatives from the two organizations, has been working on the project together since March.

All three organizations are promoting the event in each of their local communities and will equally share in the expense, Compton said.

Each organization is allotted a third of the reserved seating tickets, allowing just over 250 tickets for sale through the DC Community Education office.

The three arts/theatre companies chose the PAC for the musical.

“It’s always exciting to bring people into the PAC that have never been here before, give them a great experience, and hopefully, they will want to come back again and again,” Compton said.

The Forest City Stockade is also providing costumed ushers dressed in period clothing, and the Cokato Museum will display period photographs.

“This is truly an event for the entire family,” Compton said.

She encourages ticket holders to come early and spend time in the lobby taking in the displays.

Tickets go on sale today, $10 for adults and $8 for youth, and can be purchased by calling (320) 286-4120 or by stopping in at the Community Education/Early Childhood Family Education office.

For more information and reviews check out the web site, www.songsfromthetallgrass.com.

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