“Gods of the Prairie” – a traveling theatrical event

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

Campfire scene of “Gods of the Prairie,” held in Cultiva Coffee.

It seems fitting that I follow up a pretty negative post about Lincoln with a post about what makes Lincoln delightful.

Friday night Geoff and I attended the August 17th show of “Gods of the Prairie” – a play put on by the Colonel Mustard Amateur Attic Theatre Company, based here in Lincoln. The Colonel Mustard had a kickstarter campaign to fund this project back in May, and I regret that I didn’t donate. You can bet that next time I will pitch in! You can visit the Gods of the Prairie Facebook Page and read the Journal Star article for more info.

The group released a video before the show which set the stage, and I didn’t watch. I did watch it after, though, and really liked the use of the artwork in the nebraska state capitol. (added link to video because it was not embedding).

The group also built tons of excitement (for me, at least) with their use of old homestead photos and really great photography of the cast in the prairie. Many of these pictures can be found on their facebook page.

Geoff and I walked down to 9th and D – about 6 blocks away from our house – a little before 7. There were tons of lincolnites there, many with their dogs and kids in tow. There were also tons of bikes- and two on Lincoln’s food trucks, GUP Kitchen and A La CARTe.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

After the opening scene, we were encouraged to follow the map in the program on a kind of choose your own adventure theatre happening.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

There were several main scenes, and a few side scenes along the way. We followed a guide for a while, but the guide was running a bit behind, so we ran ahead after a while. (and then we got lost, so following a guide is probably the way to go.)

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

In between the scenes you got to walk through the near south and everett neighborhoods, often confusing the people who lived there. Since I live in the neighborhood, I had an extra joy in rediscovering places I’d passed a lot but not really paid attention to.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

We missed part of one of the scenes because we were running behind, but in the end it was OK, because the story is easy to follow.

My favorite scene was “Sam’s Lair”, held inside the historic Ferguson house near the Capitol on 16th Street. We had a little bit of time before the scene, so we were able to look around inside the Ferguson house, which was really neat. It had long been on my list of things to do in Lincoln.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

Outside the Ferguson house, two more of Lincoln’s food trucks – Heoya and Nitro Burger┬áset up shop.┬áThe lines were a little long, so Geoff and I never stopped for food, but it sure smelled good.

The penultimate scene was held on the west side of the Nebraska State Capitol – now the “tower of the gods.”

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

The pageantry was beautiful. the acting was great. I just loved it.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

After the last scene at the capitol, there was a procession back to where the final scene would be held at 9th and D. The cast sang and we walked behind. The weather was absolutely perfect, too.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

Back at 9th and D, the final scene took place. On Friday night, it seemed that some things weren’t working out quite right – some props missing, some lines missed. Everyone in the audience was so enchanted with the entire night that we really didn’t care, though. From pictures I have seen of Saturday night, the set was a bit more complete.

Gods of the Prairie, 8/17/2012, Lincoln, NE

I’ve never been to an event where there was such a feeling of good will at the end. A bunch of people came together and had a really, really great time. I gushed a lot on various social media networks about this, but I really think this will be an event that I will remember for a long, long time.

The only thing I regret is not being able to go both nights, and not being able to take more friends with us. We had a previous engagement Saturday, and that was the day most of the people we knew went. I’m glad Geoff and I got to go Friday, though, because it was a pretty nice date night for the two of us – it would have been different (but also fun!) in a group. I’m a little sad so many people I know didn’t get to go. I would have liked to share it.

I have a bunch of pictures up on Flickr from this event, and I’m embedding a slide show below. I hope the cast releases an official DVD or something, because I would love a keepsake. I look forward to more of the Colonel Mustard’s antics!

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