Fruitvale melodrama draws full house under full moon

By: Lyndell Grey Special to The News Messenger
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Approximately 300 people attended the Fruitvale School melodrama on Friday and Saturday night and enjoyed a laughter filled evening under a full moon. The villains were particularly “villainy” and yet the young schoolmaster and the lovely rancher’s daughter were able to thwart them with great success. In the end, Supervisor Robert Weygandt announced that the plans for the railroad through the area ranches had been canceled and as a result, no ranchers would have to move nor would the town suffer from not receiving a station stop, as many valley towns did when a railroad went close by but didn’t stop. Weygandt also announced the impending marriage of the young schoolmaster and the rancher’s daughter to the roar of approval by the entire audience. Particularly charming during the play were all the children in the schoolhouse scenes. The little girls were dressed in petticoats and pinafores with pantaloons and bows and the boys proudly wore suspenders and caps true to the period. Every line was said clearly and each child proved that age does not determine theatrical success. Director Juliana Walls received the praise of all of the cast and the audience for her ability to take non-actors and turn the entire cast into a professional group that held the complete attention of the audience for the entire play. Well-noted by many from each evening were the dramatic presentations of the two early rural Lincoln residents, Gene Fowler and Maye Herold. As Dan Norris said, the two characters “made Lincoln area history come alive.”