Scott Valley, Siskiyou, Yreka



Trouble!  It’s 1867 and Beaver Valley is in crisis.  The townsfolk are divided … over everything!  Incivility is the order of the day.  Nothing is getting done around town, the children are behaving like wild animals, and the new schoolmarm is at her wit’s end.  A Carpetbagger arrives in town to work his nefarious schemes while the Moose Lodge and Women’s Club grapple with each other and the issues threatening the valley’s peaceful way of life.

That was the theme of this year’s Mad Players production of Gold Meddling … or Cain’t We All Jest Git Along?!  – A Melodrama in Two Acts.

Sunday afternoon we attended the final performance, at Yreka’s SPAC Theatre.  The previous two weekends’ performances were at the Fort Jones Community Center and Etna’s Avery Theatre.  Those of us Yrekans in attendance greatly appreciated that they brought their show to our town, despite the daunting weather conditions.

Who the heck are these “Mad Players” anyhow?  They are Madeleine Ayres (Director), Annie Kramer (Musical Director), and Dee Jones (Artistic Director).

This is their tenth year of doing these melodramas, and they “jest” keep “git’n” better and better.

Their first production was Bulldog Saves the Day, a script they purchased and produced originally for the Montague Balloon Faire dinner/entertainment.  They had a blast doing “Bulldog” and decided to do another the next year.  They also decided they could write a better script – how hard could it be?  Using the framework of “Bulldog” as their template, they figured out a theme, and wrote ten scenes, with an intermission, keeping the total running time under two hours.  The result?  The Marlahan Mustard Mystery or Woad is Me, about invasive plant species, and also a bit about the Yreka Gold Heist – a topic I have a particular interest in.

Then, along came the likes of:

Common Cents or What’s in Store, about a big box store coming into Beaver Valley squashing local business.

Cabin Fever or Dancing With Wolves, about Big Pharma and the invasion of the grey wolf, specifically OR 7.

Bard To Tears or The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, small town Shakespeare and Lothario tries to hoodwink a town biddy.

The Mad Players have repeated the melodramas a couple of times.  “Gold Meddling,” for example, was a repeat.  Although a show might be a repeat, it’s still not the same, as the casts determine what direction the production will go.  And they never turn anyone away who wants to participate.  It is true community theatre!

Also, all proceeds go right back to the community through the Rotary Club and Scott Valley Theatre Company.

Congratulations to all who participated in this great production … and thank you.  We are lucky to live in Siskiyou County.

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