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Live Presentations and Enactments

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Audio Historical and Literary Analyses
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Book Chapters Featuring John Muir The John Muir Library Series from Sierra Club Books
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Live Presentations and Enactments     [up to table of contents]


See also: Live Presentations for more details about these and other presenters portraying or presenting John Muir.

Ben Clawson's play King of the Mountains. Premiered October 9, 2016 at Luna Stage theatre in West Orange, New Jersey. Audiences journey back to 1903 Yosemite and have a seat at the campfire as President Teddy Roosevelt and Naturalist John Muir go head to head. This historic camping trip was a milestone in the ongoing battle over what to do with our public land and would contribute to the forming of The National Parks Service. Book by Ben Clawson. Directed by Cheryl Katz. Cast: Ian Gould (as Roosevelt) and Rik Walter (as Muir). Production and Design: Christopher and Justin Swader (Set Design), Jorge Arroyo (Lighting Design), Andy Cohen (Sound Design), Deborah Caney (Costume Design), Liz Cesario (Production Manager), and Dan Viola (Stage Manager).
YouTube Video interviews available: Interview of actor Ian Gold (Theodore Roosevelt) and Interview of actor Rik Walter (John Muir).
Article from
'King of the Mountains': A camping trip that made history

Lawrence Downing presents "John Muir and the United States National Park System". Lecture
A long-time Sierra Club Director and former President of the Club, Larry Downing presented a Lecture for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland, in October of 1992, and has been active in promoting Muir internationally. Contact: Larry Downing, 2400 Crest Lane Southwest, Rochester MN 55902. e-mail:

G. Thomson Fraser's play "Giants in the Wilderness" is based on the lives, letters, and writings of John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Charles Sprague Sargent. The play focuses on how these three naturalists had divergent opinions on the best way to save America's forests. It was first produced by the Mont Wachusett Community College Drama Circle in May 1998 and subsequently toured as part of the Centennial Celebration of the Massachusetts State Forest and Park System. It is now available in published form in the book EcoTheater for the Global Village: Giants in the Wilderness by G. Thomson Fraser. F

Frank Helling presents "The Scootcher of a Lifetime -- A visit with John Muir". Live Dramatic Performances.
Frank Helling brings Muir to life, as he tells the story of his life, with variations suitable for schools, universities, or environmental and civic groups. Contact: Frank E. Helling, 4028 N. Wilson, Fresno CA 93704. Telephone: (209) 224-6857 or (209) 645-1122. E-mail:

The Largely Literary Theater Company presented "A Force of Nature" at the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio on September 30, 2017. .The 40-minute play, which has been commissioned by the National Park Service, will portray a historically accurate account, centered around the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt and the father of the National Park System, John Muir, as they explored the Yosemite Valley in California in 1903. "This moment is an incendiary, wonderful moment, and the story of what happened in Yosemite, is really what gives us the impetus for the national park system." Actor Mark Dawidziak will play Theodore Roosevelt and his wife Sara will portray John Muir. "There's a lot of humor, we do this a little bit like a play and a little bit like a sketch comedy," Dawidziak said. "But our ultimate goal is to honor these two men and also honor the National Park Service." A Facebook gallery of images from the performance is available.

Barbara Lechelt presents "John Muir" Live narrated Slide Program.
For several years, in the 80's and 90's, Barbara Lechelt illustrated Muir's life with Kodak slides from Dunbar Scotland, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, California's foothills and high Sierra, Muir's Martinez home, and Alaska glaciers and mountains.

Stephen Most's play “Forces of Nature” is a play commissioned by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association celebrating Gifford Pinchot and John Muir. The plot of the play follows Pinchot and Muir as they exchange views on conservation and speak with President Roosevelt about conserving land. The conflict between conserving natural resources for human use and preserving nature from human interference came to a head over the issue of whether to dam the Hetch Hetchy Valley to provide power and light for San Francisco. The play premiered on November 9, 2007 at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT, as a staged reading directed by Michael Wilson, in which James Naughton played John Muir, John Benjamin Hickey played Gifford Pinchot, and Brian Denneny was Theodore Roosevelt. It has been performed since then elsewhere in New England. For example, on May 1, 2010, it was performed at Holcomb Farm in Granby, CT. According to press reports quoting Holcomb Farm Learning Center Executive Director Jim Lofink, on May 1, 2010, the play was performed in a historic hayloft, with a potluck dinner held beforehand. A projection system broadcast historical images behind the performers to help set the scenes. “It put that all in a context in this wonderful 3000 square foot open historical structure,” said Lofink. “The ambiance was much aligned with the context.” Playwright Stephen Most is an author, playwright, and documentary scriptwriter, including writing the script for "The Greatest Good," a history of the U.S. Forest Service. He is currently writing a film about Aldo Leopold.

Gerald Pelrine presents "The Tale of Stickeen"
Until his death in 2020, Wisconsin actor, singer, and puppeteer Gerald Pelrine presented dramatic presentation of the classic story of "Stickeen" - the "wee dog" who survived a nearly-disastrous adventure on an Alaskan glacier with John Muir. The audio of his presentation is available on the 1999 John Muir Tribute CD.

Elizabeth Pomeroy presents "John Muir in Southern California". Informal Lecture with Slides.
Elizabeth Pomeroy discusses John Muir's friendship and activities in the Southland from his first visit in 1877 to his death in Los Angeles in 1914, including his ties with Charles Lummis, T.F. Lukens, A.C. Vroman, John Burroughs, and others. Conta Her researches culminated in the 1999 publication of John Muir: a Naturalist in Southern California, with a second edition in 2001. Currently serving as Board President of the Pasadena Unified School District, she has a long career in education as both a high school and college instructor. She has been long active in local organizations, serving as Board member of the Pasadena Historical Society, Pasadena Sister Cities Committee, the Sierra Club and other groups. She has served the City of Pasadena as a member of the Recreation and Parks Commission and the Library Commission.

Nancy Robichaud's musical play, "The Wild Adventures of John Muir" premiered June 5, 2010 in an outdoor theater at Big Creek Meadow Ranch in Groveland California, as part of the "John Muir Festival" celebrating the dedication of the John Muir Highway in Mariposa and Tuolumne Counties in California near Yosemite. Written and Directed by Nancy Robichaud, Music by Ann Schafer, Produced by Yosemite Playhouse. In the premiere, playing John Muir was Luke Sullivan, Teddy Roosevelt was portrayed by Kris Corey, and Michael Rhodes played Chase, a young boy who discovers how to complete his homework assignment, a report about John Muir. A Tenaya Elementary School chorus assisted with songs and dancing to add to the production.

Donnell Rubay - Author of Stickeen: John Muir and the Brave Little Dog
Donnell Rubay gives school presentations about the life and work of John Muir, as well as explaining the writing and publishing of a picture book. Contact: Donnell Rubay, 175 West H Street, Benicia, CA 94510, Tel: 707-746-6193

Dr. Richard E. Shore, until his retirement in 2017, presented live dramatic performances of "John Muir: A Thousand-Mile Journey."
Dr. Shore used the storytelling tradition to teach environmental education. He brought John Muir to life again by recounting his adventurous life, and then segueing into how Muir might feel about today's environmental problems, from global warming to deforestation. Not a merely a historical presentation, his live presentations were hard-biting environmental polemics, enjoyable for young and old alike.

Lee Stetson Presents "An Evening with a Tramp." Live Dramatic Performances.
Lee Stetson performs in Yosemite during the summer, and travels around the United States and the world during the winter with his outstanding presentations. Click on title link for photo and description. Contact: Lee Stetson's Wild Productions , Box 93, Midpines, CA 95345 Telephone: (209) 742-7838. e-mail:

Ginger Wadsworth - Author of "John Muir, Wilderness Protector
Ginger Wadsworth gives school presentations from K through 8th grade. In addition to John Muir, she has written children's biographies of Rachel Carson, John Burroughs, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Susan Butcher, plus books on Giant Sequoia, Desert Discoveries, Tigers, and other natural science topics. Contact: Ginger Wadsworth, 2 Fleetwood Court, Orinda, CA 94563, Phone: (925) 254-8077, Fax: (925) 254-8069, E-mail:, Website:

Graham White - Scotland's foremost exponent of John Muir., died in 2020. He has given an inspiring variety of talks about John Muir, and most crucially, his importance as inspiration for the global need for environmental protection.

Willow Theatre's Mountain Days: The John Muir Musical. This play presents the entire exciting life story of John Muir in a Broadway-style musical, which played for several seasons after its premiere in October, 2000 in Concord and Martinez, California. The musical is based on a concept by director Richard Elliott, of the Willows Theatre Company of Concord, California. With an original score by award-winning composer Craig Bohmler and lyrics by Tony-nominated playwright Mary Bracken Phillips, Mountain Days boasted a cast of 80 performers, 28 symphony musicians and a 50 person chorus.

Harold Wood - Webmaster & Coordinator of Sierra Club John Muir Education Team - Available as a public speaker on John Muir generally, including illustrated presentations about John Muir. Featured presentations include: "John Muir's Continuing Inspiration," "John Muir Around the World," "John Muir and the Animal Kingdom," and "John Muir in India." He is also available for workshops to discuss the John Muir in education (including the John Muir Study Guide and History Day), John Muir in general, or other Muir-related topics such as the California State Quarter. Contact: .

Mike Wurtz - Head of Special Collections and Associate Professor, is available to speak on John Muir, including his new book John Muir's Grand Yosemite: Musings and Sketches which features locations where Muir made his drawings, pairing them with quotes and information. University of the Pacific is the Home of the John Muir Papers. See his recorded YouTube presentation on Yosemite Through John Muir's Drawings from August 6, 2020.

Other presenters about John Muir include Erik Brynildson , Fountain Lake Farm, Rt. 1, Box 59, Montello, WI 53949; Chris Dempsey (contact Kings Canyon National Park); Michael Ed Nelson presents "John Muir" in live performances geared for classrooms in southern California. For information, contact: Ed Nelson, Telephone: (909) 799-7407; and Steve Pauly (contact John Muir National Historic Site.) or e-mail:

See also Audio section of Bibliography and John Muir Tribute CD for more lecturers on John Muir. [up to table of contents]


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