Watercooler Wednesday- 43 years of TEXAS!

Texas, the musical drama set in the scenic Palo Duro Canyon on West Texas has been in production for 43 years.
Texas Musical Drama had its beginning in 1960 when the William Moores and Ples Harpers of Canyon, Texas were intrigued by an article in Readers Digest about Paul Green who had re-created the history of several regions in tremendous dramas with pageantry and music. Margaret Harper wrote to Green to see if he would be interested in weaving such a production around the story of the Texas Panhandle and the great canyon across it. Mr. Green agreed and 135 people from 12 counties met in 1961 and together formed the Foundation to raise money for the production. A sound and light demonstration was held and the show FANDANGLE was brought from Albany , Texas to perform in 1964. In 1965, a sound and light booth was donated and Margaret Harper’s THUNDERING SOUNDS OF THE WEST was performed at the theatre. During 1966, the State of Texas built the dressing rooms and concession building, and at last on July 1, 1966, Texas Musical Drama opened. 61,338 guests attended the show that first year. Since that time more than three million visitors have come to see productions in the Pioneer Amphitheatre in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the nation’s second largest canyon.

I remember back in 1967/68 our family (my Mom, Dad and siblings) made the trip to Canyon, Texas for the Musical, TEXAS! Looking back now, I can see that this was just at the beginning of TEXAS and us going at that time was really very exciting. What did I know--I was 3 or 4. All I remember was them being scared of the Indians in the Canyon and the Prairie Fire scene (then done by people in costumes).

I recently returned to this production with my family (my wife and kids) while on vacation. When they announced that Texas would soon conclude their 43rd season, I thought "wow, that's a long time for a single production!" Each summer 140 of the brightest and best talents across the nation give up their summer to perform for 10 weeks in the Canyon.

This post is part of Watercooler Wednesday's over on Randy Elrod's site, Ethos