The Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center will host unique living history theater experiences on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24. Apple Blossom history will come to life in exciting performances celebrating the 100 years of the festival.
Living historians, all local actors associated with Music Theatre of Wenatchee, will perform short monologues, and give the audience a snapshot into the festival at different points in history. Education Specialist, Jill Sheets, said the historical figures all come from different times and experiences of the festival, “They each had an influential role in what is now Apple Blossom.” This year’s performance will feature: Mr. and Mrs. E. Wagner portrayed by Steve and Marile Kunkle, Queen Rosella Corle portrayed by Emily Cupp, Fern Cousineau Duncan portrayed by Bonnie VanHoven, and Bill Thoroughman portrayed by Dave Williams. Directing the show is Cynthia Brown.
People of Our Past is an interactive performance utilizing first-person living history interpretation where interpreters dress in costume, take on a historical character, and become a person from the past. They encourage questions from the audience from the time period they represent.
Performances are Saturday, February 23 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. by donation and a unique dinner theater performance that includes an apple themed four-course menu will be held at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 for members and $40 for non-members and can be purchased online at wenacheevalleymuseum.org or by calling the museum at (509) 888-6240.
The final performance will be held on Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. by donation.
About the Historical Figures
Mr. and Mrs. Wagner (1920) interpreted by Steve and Marile Kunkle
He was a pioneer fruit grower on the Columbia River below Entiat who developed a Swakane Canyon spring, piped it 7 miles to his land, and created a large lush orchard. Originally from New Zealand, she was a charter member of the Ladies’ Musical Club, which started the first Blossom Festival.
Queen Rosella Corle (1929) interpreted by Emily Cupp
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the festival, she was flown to Chicago to appear on a national NBC radio broadcast to invite all Americans to Wenatchee for the festival. An estimated 10,000 people came to town, some on a special train from Seattle, and others over the newly-constructed Stevens Pass Highway.
Fern Cousineau Duncan (1959) interpreted by Bonnie VanHoven
She was an art teach at Wenatchee High School who designed and created individual crowns for the festival royalty each year beginning in 1932. She continued until 1959 when she made a permanent crown for the girls to use each year. At the 50th Anniversary of the Apple Blossom Festival in 1969 she received the Golden Apple Award.
Bill Thoroughman (1967) interpreted by Dave Williams
He was an Applarian and director general of the festival. He and his wife were on the first Apple Blossom Festival delegation to Misawa in 1967.
Press release provided by the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center.