Sing, boo, hiss and learn in celebration of Nevada’s 150 years

Melodrama production, history conference highlight a year-long series of University events and activities commemorating Nevada’s sesquicentennial

Melodrama

Jacquelyn Sundstrand, left, from University Libraries and Phil Boardman from the University's Department of English, will perform in East Lynne, a melodrama that was first performed in Virginia City in 1863 and many times after that. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Sing, boo, hiss and learn in celebration of Nevada’s 150 years

Melodrama production, history conference highlight a year-long series of University events and activities commemorating Nevada’s sesquicentennial

Jacquelyn Sundstrand, left, from University Libraries and Phil Boardman from the University's Department of English, will perform in East Lynne, a melodrama that was first performed in Virginia City in 1863 and many times after that. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Melodrama

Jacquelyn Sundstrand, left, from University Libraries and Phil Boardman from the University's Department of English, will perform in East Lynne, a melodrama that was first performed in Virginia City in 1863 and many times after that. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

Those performing in the University of Nevada, Reno's production of East Lynne on Thursday, Oct. 23 hope the audience boos and hisses.

In honor of Nevada's sesquicentennial celebration, a staged reading of East Lynne, one of the most popular melodramas of the 19th century, will be presented by an all-star cast of University faculty, staff and friends. East Lynne is a tearjerker and hanky twister and, true to the melodrama tradition, will have the audience booing, hissing, cheering or weeping for the noble hero, the mustache-twirling villain and the tragic, sentimental heroine. The production joins a historic dedication, statewide sing-along, special exhibit and upcoming conference as some of many ways the University community is supporting the year-long celebration of Nevada's 150 years.

DEDICATION OF ORIGINAL UNIVERSITY BELL, OCT. 22 The University Preparatory School - precursor to the University of Nevada - first opened its doors in Elko to seven students on Oct. 12, 1874. The University of Nevada and its original bell later moved to Reno, but the original University bell returned to Elko where it has been on display outside of Elko High School, adjacent to the original University site, since 1974. Recognizing the timber framework holding the bell was in dire disrepair, Elko service organizations, businesses and individuals rallied to raise funds to rebuild the structure. Meeting the goal to complete the project in Nevada's sesquicentennial year, the newly constructed framework holding the original University of Nevada bell is being dedicated Oct. 22. The Elko event is designated as one of the sesquicentennial's Legacy Projects.

EAST LYNNE, A MELODRAMA, OCT. 23 "East Lynne was first performed in Virginia City in 1863 and many times after that," David Fenimore, English Department lecturer who wrote the adaptation for this performance, said. "It was a roaring success, produced somewhere in the English-speaking world nearly every week from about 1861 to 1930." During the Comstock Era, theater and music troupes on their way from Chicago to San Francisco would stop in Virginia City, the largest settlement between the two cities, to perform in the community's numerous theaters. "We wanted to produce something relevant to the history of Nevada even though it's an English play. Most plays at the time were from England because producers didn't have to pay royalties," Fenimore said. "It's a chestnut that everyone knew and loved, and even to this day you get swept up in the emotion of the story." East Lynne is sponsored by the Departments of English, Theatre & Dance and University Libraries. The free performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, Wells Fargo Auditorium.

JOIN #NEVADASINGS AND BELT OUT THE STATE SONG, OCT. 30 Nevadans are invited to join in song at 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 30 and set a record for Most People in a U.S. State to Sing their State Song at Once. Plans are coming together for at least one large-scale sing-along of Home Means Nevada at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center on campus. Watch Nevada Today and the University's online events calendar for more information. Or, organize your own group or class sing-along. Because the total participation statewide needs to be tallied, register your event in advance and find the lyrics to Home Means Nevada and, afterward, upload a video or photo as evidence. Please also notify the University's Office of Communications by emailing Nicole Shearer, nshearer@unr.edu, to allow us to keep a University tally as well.

ALL FOR THE UNION, NOV. 6-7 A free symposium hosted by the University's Department of History will feature a keynote presentation and panel discussions exploring the special significance of Nevada's statehood, its constitution and its connection to the Civil War. A War for the Union: Motivation and Meaning in the Civil War North will be presented by Gary Gallagher, a University of Virginia professor and author of The Union War. The free, public event takes place on campus at 7 p.m., Nov. 6. On Friday, Nov. 7, in the Joe Crowley Student Union, Great Room, the symposium continues with two panel discussions: the first, at 9:30 a.m., on Nevada Statehood and Society 1864 and the second, at 11 a.m., on the Nevada Constitution: Inception and Duration.

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS EXHIBIT, THROUGH OCT. 31 The third in a series of three exhibits by Special Collections & University Archives, a department of University Libraries, opened in July, coinciding with Reno's annual Artown event. Located on the third floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, When the Lights Dim: Arts and Entertainment in Nevada is open for viewing weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and runs through Oct. 31. "Nevada's 150 years of history is the focus of Special Collections, and this year the heightened awareness of Nevada's history gave us a chance to showcase some of our treasures and let people know about the rich collections of photographs, maps, manuscripts and other materials available to support the researchers and program developers," Donnie Curtis, head of Special Collections, said.

RENO HISTORICAL APP, ON-GOING A new Reno Historical App is putting area history at users' fingertips. Developed by Special Collections in partnership with the Nevada Historical Society, Nevada Humanities, Historic Reno Preservation Society, City of Reno and Regional Transportation Commission, the app serves as a history or walking-tour resource. It explores stories, places and moments that shaped the city, including the University campus.  

A YEAR-LONG CELEBRATION The University's support of Nevada's sesquicentennial started with the Nevada Bowl football game versus UNLV in Mackay Stadium last fall - one of Nevada's Sesquicentennial Commission's signature, kick-off events. Last November, the School of Medicine hosted the Third Annual Nevada Rural Health Day at the site of Nevada's oldest standing health-care facility, St. Mary's Art and Retreat Center, formerly St. Mary Louise Hospital, in Virginia City. Co-sponsored by the National Association of State Rural Health Offices, the event brought attention to health topics of Nevada's rural and frontier communities and celebrated providers who have had a significant impact in these areas. It's especially fitting that the University community honors Nevada's birthday; after all, Nevada's Constitution outlined the framework for creation of its first "state university." Staying true to its Constitutional roots, the University continues to provide teaching, research and service in agriculture, mechanic arts (today known as engineering) and mining, and provides for the preparation of teachers.

Latest From

Nevada Today

;