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Mark Raddatz

Presents "John Muir: Watch, Pray and Fight!"

Mark Raddatz as John Muir

A sometimes thorny ramble through politics, preservation and damming in the Sierras with conservation's first and most effective champion.

An Inspiring, Uplifting Address!

When he was in his fifties, John Muir's life took an unforeseen career path. The very shy and private mountaineer became a very public man, "required to make speeches and lead in society affairs."

"Watch, Pray and Fight" is a carefully researched reconstruction of such a speech from contemporary news sources and John Muir's own papers. Not a biography, or a paraphrase of animal stories, this is Muir in Muir's own words. Word for word.

Without explanation or exposition he launches into the sort of talk he might have made during the fight for Yosemite, Hetch-Hetchy and the national park idea. For seventy minutes the audience is treated to the poetry, wit, insight and passion that made John Muir the most effective voice for preservation in his own time and a remarkably pertinent voice in ours!

Critical Praise for Mark Raddatz' portrayal of John Muir:

"...I was captivated, we were all captivated, we want Mark back next year"
- Jody Drake, Sharlot Hall Museum

"During his performance, Mr. Raddatz brought Muir to life - as a human being filled with passion, ideas and opinions. This was no cardboard character; this was a full-blooded creation. And it wasn't just 'preaching', there was plenty of humor!"
- Craig Dible, Chair, Sierra Club, Sedona-Verde Valley Group

"... and in walks John Muir himself, a little shy at first and itchy in his stiff suit, but he warms up soon enough and carries the whole room away with him."
- Arizona Daily Sun

"...Muir is funny, passionate; Raddatz is riveting. Has captured the essence of Muir ... Highly recommended,...not to be missed."
- Lynn Crowe, Theatre Critic, Red Rock Review

Mark Raddatz

Mark Raddatz is a professional actor who has appeared in television, movies and numerous Shakespeare festivals. His roles have included Claudius in Hamlet, Baptista in Taming of the Shrew, Henry Higgins in both Pymalion and My Fair Lady, and Arnolphe in Molliere's School for Wives.

One of his next presentations as John Muir will be at the Valhalla Arts Festival, in South Lake Taho, in the Great Hall June 26, 2019 at 7:30pm. 

Press Release March 13, 2017: Mark Raddatz portrays John Muir – April 15, 2017

March 13, 2017 – Gesa Power House Theatre (Walla Walla, Washington) presents "John Muir: Watch, Pray, and Fight" – a one-man play created and performed by Mark Raddatz – on Saturday, April 15. 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

In order to capture the essence of the legendary mountaineer, naturalist, and founder of the Sierra Club, Mark Raddatz composed the script entirely from Muir's own words. This is not a biographical essay or paraphrase of an animal story. This is Muir as he would have appeared and spoken to an audience in his own time.

"I went to the University of the Pacific's library for the bulk of my research," Raddatz says. "They have all the Muir's journals and other papers. Despite his having spoken before innumerable gatherings in the last 30 years of his life, I was assured that there were no actual printed speeches."

After strenuous research in the newspapers of the period and Muir's own papers, Raddatz found three. Traveling to Stockton, California, where the University of the Pacific's Holt-Atherton Collections are housed, involved crossing and re-crossing the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges that Muir did so much to preserve. Raddatz took advantage of this to explore and camp where Muir did a century before.

"I spent every summer of my boyhood in the Sierra and Yosemite," says Raddatz. "It was good to renew the contact and a great place to read Muir."

Of this project, Raddatz says, "During my lifetime, I've noticed popular culture has tended to tame John Muir, to rub the rough spots smooth and portray him as a warm and fuzzy eccentric; someone to take to our hearts, but not take too seriously. This was no Disney character chatting with the birds and squirrels; what Muir had to say back then is startlingly meaningful even now."

In this one-man show, Raddatz appears without explanation or exposition, and launches into the sort of talk Muir might have made during the fight for Yosemite and the national park idea. For just over an hour, the audience is treated to the poetry, wit, insight and passion that made John Muir the most effective voice for preservation in his own time and a remarkably pertinent voice in ours. The portrayal is thoughtful, thorough and humorous.

Mark Raddatz is a professional actor who has appeared in television, movies, numerous Shakespeare festivals, and many local Walla Walla theater productions. His roles have included the Reverend Shaw Moore in "Footloose", Malvolio in "Twelfth Night", Matthew Harrison Brady in "Inherit the Wind", Jack Manning in "Angel Street", Horace Vandergelder in "The Matchmaker", the Duke in "The Merchant of Venice", Claudius in "Hamlet", Baptista in "Taming of the Shrew", Henry Higgins in both "Pygmalion" and "My Fair Lady", King Arthur in "Camelot", Arnolphe in Moliere's "School for Wives", Jud Fry in "Oklahoma", Theseus in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and many others. He was producing artistic director of Actor's Repertory Theatre of Sedona where he directed numerous shows. For the Walla Walla Community College summer musical, Raddatz was the assistant director for "Bye Bye Birdie", "South Pacific", "Cinderella", and "Grease". He has been technical director, properties designer and set designer for various theater companies.

Reserved seating tickets ($18 Adults, $15 Students) are available online ( or by calling the box office at 509-529-6500.

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About the Gesa Power House Theatre

The historic Gesa Power House Theatre is a world-class, 300-seat performing arts venue, located in downtown Walla Walla. The 120-year-old building was once the Walla Walla Gas Plant, built to produce coal gas used to light the streets, businesses, and homes of Walla Walla. In 2011 the Gesa Power House Theatre building was transformed into a state-of-the-art playhouse for live performance. The interior design of the theatre was inspired by Shakespeare's own intimate Blackfriars Theatre in London, England.

The Gesa Power House Theatre is on the Washington State Building Preservation Commission list of State historic buildings and on the National Register of Historic Places. The venue also hosts a variety of other cultural events, musical concerts, and private events (including weddings).

For additional marketing and media information, including interviews and hi-res images, contact:

Bradley Nelson
Media Contact
Phone: 509.529-6500

Gesa Power House Theatre
111 North Sixth Ave.
Walla Walla, Washington 99362

Contact Information

Mark Raddatz
Walla Walla, WA
Phone: (509) 522-5240

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