Tags:From the WNC Alliance:
The Western North Carolina Alliance (WNCA) hosts an evening around the campfire with John Muir, America’s best known conservationist, at 7:00 PM, Friday, October 14 at the Asheville Community Theatre in downtown Asheville. Actor Lee Stetson will reprise the legendary role of Muir in a show entitled John Muir Among the Animals. A second show titled The Spirit of John Muir will be hosted by Friends of the Smokies October 15 in Waynesville.
“John Muir and his legacy have influenced the preservation of our country’s natural environment far beyond what most of us can imagine,” WNCA Executive Director Julie Mayfield said. “And actor Lee Stetson has captured all of Muir’s intriguing qualities in his stirring performances.”
Lee Stetson has been the “Voice of John Muir” for over 25 years and was prominently featured in the acclaimed 2009 Ken Burns special, National Parks – America’s Best Idea. His incredible performances as John Muir have been presented in Yosemite National Park since 1983 to more than a quarter of a million visitors. Mr. Stetson’s portrayal of Muir highlights Muir’s immense contribution to today’s national forests. As founder of the Sierra Club, leading naturalist, a dedicated mountaineer and wilderness explorer, author, philosopher, and story-teller, Muir is credited by many Americans as the architect of our National Park system.
This year’s show, John Muir Among the Animals, highlights Muir’s relationship with the wildlife he inevitably encountered during his travels throughout the Yosemite Valley and beyond. Tales include Muir's nearly disastrous "interview" with a Yosemite bear, his face-to-fang encounter with a rattlesnake, and hilarious stories of tending sheep -- those "hoofed locusts" destroying the lovely meadows of the Yosemite High Country. Also included is Muir's boyhood remembrance of the passenger pigeons, which dazzled him with their flocks of many millions filling the sky for days at a time. In stark contrast, in Muir's old age, he is made aware of the single remaining pigeon named Martha, held captive at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The basic themes of the show revolve around animal rights and the problem of extinction, but are largely served up with Muir's irrepressible humor. Finally, Muir's deep understanding and love for the animal kingdom was never made more evident, or more educational, than his telling of his frightening adventure with a dog named Stickeen. This quaint little adventuresome animal, with whom Muir gets lost in a storm on an Alaskan glacier, provides us with one of the greatest dog stories of all time.
Tickets to the performance are $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and $20 for WNCA members. A $12 ticket is offered to attendees under 18. Admission includes a desert reception during intermission and a chance to meet the actor immediately following the performance. The public can reserve a seat or learn more information by calling WNCA at 828-258-8737 or visiting the group’s website at www.wnca.org.
In Waynesville on Saturday, October 15, Lee Stetson will spin tales of Muir's harrowing adventures in The Spirit of John Muir at 7:00 pm in Haywood Community College Auditorium. The event is sponsored by Friends of the Smokies, and will benefit Trails Forever and other Great Smoky Mountain National Park projects. For more information and ticket reservations, contact 828-452-0720 or www.friendsofthesmokies.org.