A salute to veteran Meeker pageant crew and cast

MEEKER I Welcome to Meeker and the 127th Range Call celebration. We hope that you will enjoy our 2012 and 74th annual presentation of “The Twilight of the Ute Empire.”
For 74 years, hundreds of Meeker residents have participated in the annual production of the Meeker Pageant. Some of them have participated continuously for decades and others for the first time.
The Meeker Pageant Committee and the Range Call Committee salute the veteran and long term Meeker Pageant Actors and Crew who have each year for decades, dedicated their skills, time, and special talents to re-enacting the colorful and charismatic characters who were such a vital part of the history and settling of the White River Valley and the Meeker Community.

n 54 Years: The Barney family: Syble Barney, Kay Bivens, Phyllis Lake, directing and support staff
n 50 Years: David W. Smith, Peck’s Trading Post wagonmaster and many other roles
n 40+ Years: R.D. Clare portraying Judge Gerry and bartender, and the Clare family
n 37 Years: Ed and Bonnie Coryell and family: pageant directors and portraying the Escalante and Dominguez explorers
n 30 Years: Stan Crawford and family, Ute Chiefs and Native Americans, Gary Moyer portraying mountain man “Peg-Leg Smith”
n 27 Years: Becky Hughes and Family
n 20 Years: Kari Jo Stevens, choreographer for can can dancers, Mandy Jensen, portraying Scout Joe Rankin
n 15 Years: Gary Moyer portraying mountain man “Peg-leg Smith,” Joe Fennesy portraying the old Ute Chief and Chief Nevava

Special thanks go to Mandy Anson of Craig for providing a horse team for the Peck’s Trading Post Wagon and the Powell Park Plowing Scene
The Meeker Pageant is a truly volunteer community effort and a premier event of the 127-year-old Range Call Fourth of July Celebration. It would not be possible without the many talents and dedicated efforts of each volunteer player.
The extreme fire danger this year necessitated eliminating the use of any open fires or pyrotechnics which have typically been used as part of the pageant production for many of the traditional scenes. Special sound and lighting technology were used to compensate for this restriction.
This amazing and mystical journey takes the audience past the sentinels of time, and back more than 1,000 years ago, where the nomadic Ute people lived in a land they called the “Shining Mountains.” Today that vast land mass encompasses more than 12 million acres of Western Colorado, Eastern Utah, Southwestern Wyoming and Northern New Mexico. Audience members experience the pivotal events which impacted the Ute way of life, beginning with the Spanish Explorers in the 1400’s who brought the first horses, giving the Utes new mobility and enabling their culture to thrive and migrate. Later came the western expansion and manifest destiny of the United States of America which brought the mountain men who were fur trappers and traders, then the explorers and navigators, followed by the gold and silver miners, and finally the farmers and ranchers, and an inevitable clash of cultures and lifestyles.
Despite the heroic efforts of the Great Chief Ouray who successfully negotiated treaties in 1867 with Washington to protect his people and their lands, all this would change with the arrival of Indian Agent Nathan C. Meeker at the White River Agency in 1878. The last major Native American Uprising in North America occurred on Sept. 29, 1879 and the first citizens of the White River valley, known then as the laughing people, were forever banished from their cherished and vast lands by Congress in 1883, and forced onto federal reservations in Utah.

*Editor’s note: Laurie Zellers is an experienced performing arts director who has directed (or co-directed with her husband Gary) a number of theatrical productions in the past decade, including Meeker High School musicals such as “Guys and Dolls,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Grease: The Musical,” and more recently, the ERBM Recreation and Parks District Center Stage Youth Theatrical Group’s presentation of “Annie, Jr.,” and Walt Disney’s “Cinderella Kids.” Laurie is a member of the Board of Directors of the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council which will provide support for the 2012 Meeker Pageant production. This year’s show was her second experience at the helm of this more than 70-year-old annual re-enactment depicting many centuries of significant Colorado historical events, culminating in the settlement of the White River Valley and the establishment of the Meeker community.

Meeker Pageant Cast And Crew
Crew:
Script Written By: Margaret King
Director: Laurie Zellers
Arena Cast Director: Caleb Dodds
Narration: Jason Hightower
Music And Sound: Gary Zellers
Lighting: Bob Amick, Ohana Mataia And Team
Horse Riders Coordinator: Janelle Urista
Can Can Dancers: Kari Jo Stevens
Ute Dancers Coordinator: Jordan Smith
Make-Up: Phyllis Lake and Team
Costumes: Chris Webster, Kim Kummer and Team
Prop Coordinator: Zach Clatterbaugh and Team
Pyrotechnics: Thad Hauck And Meeker Fire Dept.
Cast:
Old Chief And Chief Nevava: Joe Fennesy
Escalante Party: Ed And Bonnie Coryell and Family
Peg Leg Smith: Gary Moyer
Bartender/Judge: R.D. Clare
Major and Mrs. Powell: Jim and Debbie Cook
Chief Ouray: Caleb Dodds
Chief Jack: J.R. Crawford
Chief Johnson: Scott Isenhour
Chief Douglas: Josh Isenhour
Ute Maiden: Maddie Shults
Chipeta: Amber Holding
Persune: Lathrop Hughes
Nathan C. Meeker: Brock Campbell
Arvilla Meeker: Kalene Weinholdt
Josie Meeker: Samantha Patterson
Major Thornburgh: Janelle Urista
Jane Antelope: Tosha Clatterbaugh
Scout Joe Rankin: Deneé Chintala
and many other uncredited but dedicated cast and crew members.