LFTC made Magdalena its home in 1996, opening (for Magdalena’s Old Timers Days) with STAGECOACH TO DECAMERON , an adaptation of Boccaccio’s classic 14th-C. Italian Decameron Tales to the 1870’s West. The stories, romantic to madly farcical, played to enthusiastic response, & LFTC has since presented over 40 productions from original scripts, ensemble work, history, legend, & adaptations of literary classics & contemporary writings.
LONG ROAD, FREE WIND (Nov., ‘96) dramatized lives of frontier women, while the Feb., ‘97 show left the West to recreate Dorothy Parker’s urbane, witty 1920’s New York in YOU MIGHT AS WELL LIVE . THE TREASURE OF MAGDALENA MOUNTAIN (July ‘97) wove legends of treasure & its seekers with Magdalena’s Lady on the Mountain. THAT DAMNED POE was an eerie blend of Poe’s life/writings, & ‘97 ended with THE LONG RIDE OF ST. NICK, (reviewed as) “a darkly different comedy with hauntingly sincere performances.” ONE WAGON WEST OF NOWHERE - the adventures, romances, & hilarious mis-conceptions of two women joining forces to come West - was Old Timers ‘98 fare, & was revived by popular demand in March, 2000. COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, JESSEE was ‘98’s nostalgic holiday play.
An entertainment with music, THE LADY THAT’S KNOWN LOU (from R. Service poem) was part of Magdalena’s Spring Arts Festival; WHO SHOT SCOTT? (July, ‘99) was a farcical play-within-a-play; & 1999’s seasonal play, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT! combined legends of Christmas, Chanukah, Winter Solstice, & Navajo dancers in a wildly-funny yet touching re-telling of the Great Story.
Stories by Mark Twain, Bret Harte, & Owen Wister were staged in LEGENDS OF THE LOST FRONTIER (July, 2000). THE DEVIL RODE WEST offered ghostly tales from New Mexico’s Hispanic/Anglo/Navajo lore. November’s dramatization of local author P. V. Ford’s story, IN THE LURCH, received rave reviews; & LONG RIDE returned, with music, as holiday fare.
THE TRAIL OF LONESOME TREE: A Lost Wife Creek Christmas, was (review) “A lovely play...acting was straight & true....set & lighting excellent & evocative.” LOVE COMES TO LOST WIFE CREEK (Feb, 2002), was followed by DON QUIXOTE OF LWC & MAY DAY! ON LWC. July’s play was a satirical Historical Epic, ENCHANTMENT! The series continued in October with DARK MOON OVER LWC , & December’s WANDERING STAR & LITTLE GLORY.
An expanded version, with ballads, of LONG ROAD, FREE WIND opened the 2003 season & toured, including a benefit for the Lincoln Co. Historical Society. For Old Timers, A LAND WITHOUT FENCES mixed tales of the Old West, the lives of a boy & his grandmother in modern NM. LUCK reappeared in Sept., followed by FIDDLERS HARVEST ON LWC , & a new version of GOOD NIGHT! gave a NM slant -Saint, Shepherd, Outlaw, La Llorona, Jewish Elf, & Dancehall Christmas Fair -to the season. LOVE COMES TO LWC opened the 2004 season, followed by the nostalgic LWC MEMORIES.
2005 began with A LITTLE BIT OF MYSTERY, created from ensemble improvisation, & reviewed as “A humorous tour de force with three excellent performers playing seven parts.” For Old Timers Days, DOGS! offered a humorous view of small-town NM life, canine & human. RACING THE MOON (Oct.), premier of LFTC’s “Westering” series, was a wild & witty observation on an era, as Eastern Society & Art adopt the Wild West; & THE LONG RIDE OF ST. NICK again celebrated the return of the Light to the world.
2006 opened with GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER, DO!, second in the Westering series; continued with July’s Old Timers Days presentation, the gloriously-irreverent (and wildly-popular) historical epic, ENCHANTMENT! ; and was followed, at Halloween/Dias de Lost Muertos, by THE LONG TRAIL HOME , a chilling tale of psychic investigation in a NM ghost town. The Christmas offering - ON! DONDER & BLITZEN - was the 11th in the LWC series.
NEW LIFE ON LWC opened our 2007 season. In April, LFTC sponsored FORTY YEARS OF EXPERIMENTAL FILM & VIDEO , a retrospective of LFTC videographer Michael Mideke’s work. Innovative blending of stage/video/live music created July’s DOWN & OUT DIARY , a saga of frontier tragedy & triumph. DARK MOON OVER LWC (Oct.) revealed the haunting story of the “Lost Wife”; & COME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, JESSEE, reviewed as “tender & evocative”, opened with a video by Mideke.
YOU MIGHT AS WELL LIVE! brought Dorothy Parker's delightful wit to NM audiences in Feb, 2008; A HOME OF HER OWN, by Texas author Jane Manning, premiered in July. DARK PATH THROUGH THE WILDERNESS (Halloween/Dias de los Muertos) combined Poe, Bierce, & original stories; & the 2008 season ended with REMEMBRANCES OF CHRISTMASES PAST , a seasonal celebration with double-feature videos of past LFTC holiday favorites, plus short local nature videos by LFTC videographer Michael Mideke - & posole!
May 2008 included a Special Showing at the NM Filmmakers Festival
The 2009 July/Old Timers Days presentation for LFTC's 14th season in Magdalena was THE BALLAD OF BABE & BEAU. This multi-media (stage play, innovative video, period music) production, a poignant - & humorous - adventure into the myth of the Old West, was acclaimed by audiences & reviewers, & returned in October.
LFTC, now in its historic WPA venue, & starting its 14th season in Magdalena, continues to present a wide variety of plays, incorporating our vivid multi-culture for exciting, entertaining theatre.
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Major funding for this project by the McCune Charitable Foundation of Santa Fe. Additional funding by New Mexico Department of Tourism.
London Frontier Theatre Company