Program this weekend at the Brock

Published 9:54 am Thursday, February 2, 2017

Back by popular demand, ArtsPower National Touring Theatre’s Laura Ingalls Wilder chronicles the adventures of the Ingalls family as they travel across the prairie in search of a little house to call home.

Based on Wilder’s 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 Davie County Arts Council at the Brock Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 5. Both performances will begin at 3 p.m. For ticket information, contact the Brock’s Box Office (Monday-Friday between noon and 5 p.m., 336-751-3000. All general seating tickets are $8.50. The musical is geared for grades 2-6 and will be approximately one hour.

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.

“At Davie County Arts Council we are committed to enriching children’s lives through the performing arts,” said executive director, Sidniee Suggs.  “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 also want them to leave the theatre in search of the author’s books,” Suggs said.