by Lee Stetson as John Muir
This stirring production has been presented every summer in Yosemite National Park – as well as throughout the country and around the world - since 1983. It depicts Muir's last dramatic battle to preserve the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley, part of Yosemite National Park, as it was threatened by San Francisco's desire to construct a dam that would drown the valley in hundreds of feet of water. Audience members are his guests as they await final word of Hetch Hetchy's fate from Washington decision makers. While waiting, Muir's righteous anger at the 'temple destroyers' is tempered by his hearty good humor, and his relating of a number of his most extraordinary wilderness adventures, including his remarkable 'tree ride' in a Sierra windstorm. This play is a fine introduction to both Muir the man and his profound love of wildness. This show comes on the heels of the 100-year anniversary of the Raker Act (Dec. 1913) which allowed San Francisco to build O'Shaughnessy Dam and flood Hetch Hetchy Valley for a water and power supply.
NOTE: This popular and poignant play will be followed next month (May 16) with "Hetch Hetchy: Can the Splendid Wild Return?”