Play looks at Grass Valley of 1876 |

Play looks at Grass Valley of 1876

“PLAINSONG,” a play debuting and running the next two weeks at and benefiting the Empire Mine State Historic Park, has special significance to this area.

That’s because the play, written and directed by Tania Myren, is about the Thorne Gang in and around Grass Valley of 1876. The Thorne Gang is comprised of brawling train thieves who never seem to do anything right. Their current scheme to rob a gold shipment from the new Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad is placed in jeopardy when they meet a group of beauties at a barn dance.

Performed in scenes throughout the park, “PLAINSONG” is probably the first full theatrical production to be presented at the Empire Mine since it was established in 1850, according to Tom Taylor, the play’s production manager.

Appropriate for all ages, this raucous period romp includes singing, dancing, fighting, comic dialogue and live music which was composed by Grass Valley composer Jerry Grant just for the play.

Cast and crew members include 20 area actors, three Los Angeles actors and a North Carolina actor.

While the cast and crew basically have donated their time for this play, so have visual artists who have third-floor studios at St. Joseph’s Cultural Center.

With Menlo Macfarlane at the lead, the third-floor collective created “weapons” such as pistols, knives and rifles from thrift-shop discards, toys, plumbing and other found objects.

The artists’ creations will be displayed at the Empire Mine State Historic Park through the “PLAINSONG” run there.

Playgoers should bring their own folding chairs and wear comfortable walking shoes as they will follow the gang’s adventures around the park. Visitors may bring bottled water into the park. Refreshments will be sold during intermission.



WHAT: “PLAINSONG” produced as a benefit for the Empire Mine State Historic Park

WHEN: The next two Mondays through Thursdays (June 21-June 24 and June 28- July 1) from 6 p.m. to 8:10 p.m., gate opens for pre-show at 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Empire Mine St. Grass Valley

ADMISSION: $15 adults, $7 children ages 5 to 12. Tickets at the Book Seller, BriarPatch, Empire Mine State Historic Park, Nevada City Postal Co. and The Cotton Field.


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