by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
I’m not sure Grain Valley could be called the cultural mecca of the Midwest, however there seems to have always be an audience for live entertainment. Over the next few weeks I will share some old photographs of the talented citizens of Grain Valley.
Since the turn of the last century, citizens have been entertained. First, they came to the Royal Playhouse, built by Jasper “Newt” Sanders around 1910. From silent movies to plays, often directed by his daughter Ruth Sanders Belford, this old playhouse was a popular place on most Saturday evenings. All-school plays, performed on stage in the school gymnasium, were popular all through the 1930s.
I remember my parents being in a few shows put on by the alumni to raise funds to support the alumni banquet. That was popular around 1949 and 1950. Of course, there were the junior and senior class plays performed to raise funds for prom and class trips. By the late 1960s they became all-school productions to allow all would-be stars, freshmen through seniors, to land a role.
From 50 years ago, this week’s photos feature some of the stars of “Grain Valley Hee Haw” presented December 4, 1970. Skits, song and dance routines, and one-liners were combined in a fast moving country show, no doubt based on the popular TV variety show at that time.
“You never know what’s coming out of the cornfield!” agreed Mrs. Mary Harper and Mrs. Barbara Murry, co-directors.
Visit www.grainvalleyhistory.com for more information on the Grain Valley Historical Society.