ASHLAND, Neb. — A state park in Nebraska is celebrating its 25th year of producing family-friendly melodramas.

Mahoney State Park’s melodrama season this year includes 60 performances of three funny and family-friendly shows, the Fremont Tribune (http://bit.ly/2ttpV7I ) reported. Five young actors are performing the shows “Alone on the Range,” ”Showdown at Sundown,” and “The Silent Treatment.”

Rachel Robbins is directing the 2017 season, and Julie Eschliman is providing the background music on piano.

In the summer of 1992, Nebraska Game and Parks invited John Burkhart to tour the park and the new theater that was under construction. The idea was to have Burkhart produce melodramas for park visitors.

The details and the contract were worked out, and the first show, “He Ain’t Done Right by Nell,” opened on May 27, 1993.

“We just had no idea how or whether this was going to work,” said Jennifer Walker, a member of the first cast. “We were in this beautiful, brand new space in a gorgeous setting, and we thought the work we were doing was a lot of fun and that people would really enjoy it. But we also wondered. . are people going to drive to the park to see it? Of course, 25 years later we know the answer.”

That first summer, seven cast members and the accompanist performed two shows six days a week, totaling 180 performances.

This year’s performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Family packages are also available.


Information from: Fremont Tribune, http://www.fremontneb.com

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