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‘Victoria in the Highlands’ opens June 30


“Victoria in the Highlands” was written by Monte H. Wright and Autumn Gieb. Wright and Gieb, along with Karen Buerdsell, comprise the cast; Wright directed the play and Gieb designed the costumes.

“I was looking for a small cast show about Queen Victoria (the last thing on my theatre bucket list) and could not find one,” Wright said. “So, I decided to talk to Autumn Gieb about the possibility of writing or compiling a show together. We then presented the idea to Ceil and Peter Herman at the Black Box Theatre, and they were on board with it, and they would produce the show.

“We decided on the subject being based on the books that Victoria (1819-1901; reigned 1837-1901) had written about her life in the Highlands of Scotland,” Wright said.

"Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands," was published in 1868, Wright said. “We found that this was in the public domain, and we then picked out different chapters to piece together a play with connecting passages written by Autumn and me. We added the narrator and a servant to break up the single-person narrative and we came up with ‘Victoria in the Highlands,’ a new play,” he said. Queen Victoria's diaries are around 700 volumes; she wrote 1,500-2,500 words a day.

“The play opens with a young Victoria recounting her first trip to Scotland and the events that took place there over a few years,” Wright said. “The second act covers the events after Prince Albert's death. “Even though it covers many years, the play is only about an hour and half long with intermission. We decided to support the events that she tells us about with projections and sound effects.”

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819-61) was “consort of the British monarch,” married to Queen Victoria 1840 until his death.

Wright is the play’s narrator, Gieb portrays Queen Victoria and Buerdsell is the royal servant. Erin Chenoweth is the show’s stage manager; Heather Olvera is assistant stage manager. Peter Herman did the show’s light design and Joshua Taulbee designed the set. Bekah Taulbee is the light board operator.

Performances of Victoria in the Highlands” are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, June 30-July 1, July 1-8 and 14-15; 2:30 p.m. Sundays, July 9 and 16; and 7 p.m. Thursday, July 13, at Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.

Tickets are $15 regular admission, $12 for students and seniors over age 65 and $10 for all seats for the Thursday, July 13, performance only.

For reservations can 575-523-1223 or visit www.no-strings.org.