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December 11, 2013

Sunday marks grand finale of 175th

'Birth of a City' to hit McHale Auditorium stage

The grand finale of a year of celebrating the 175th anniversary of Logansport will be this Sunday and appear in a documentary-like form.

A culmination of efforts from many sources in Logansport will result in the production of “Birth of a City” at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Doug Schlabach, director of “Birth of a City,” describes the experience as being completely different from anything he has ever done.

“When you do a traditional play, you have a set design in mind and there are words so directors can find out how to put it all together,” Schlabach said. “Now I have to add music to it, with someone else’s vision, pictures to it, with is someone else’s vision and staging, which happens to be my vision. It’s harder than anything else I’ve done.”

The script for the production, which will have narration, a video montage, original music and recorded voice-overs, was written and compiled by Garry Williams. Williams used resources from Thelma Conrad, Kevin Burkett and Richard Copeland, and various books, articles and websites to compile the information. When he couldn’t find something already recorded, he researched the subject and wrote its history himself.

Several key players came together to make everything possible, Schlabach said. A photo montage by Rich Voorhees will be projected on screen and an original music score by Sam Piercy will accompany the production.

Two narrators will take the stage while the photo montage and recorded voice-overs tell the story of Logansport. More than 40 people recorded speaking parts of people in the city’s history like Little Turtle, William Ball, Charles Collins, Graham Taber and others.

The event can be compared to a documentary on stage, Schlabach said. Williams added that using real people’s voices creates an emotional experience.

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