Golden Chain Theatre Brings Back Summer Melodramas at their Outdoor Drive-In Theatre
A nostalgic way to carry on a 54-year tradition of summer melodramas at Yosemite’s South Gate!
OAKHURST, CA (MAY 24, 2021) – In recent times, many stories you might read begin with the sentiment, “the past year has been a challenge for all of us.” Readers shouldn’t fault the authors of those articles entirely; it’s hard not to get stuck pondering lost opportunities, especially lost loved ones.
James Mierkey, Musical Director at The Golden Chain Theatre in Oakhurst, lost his dad in August of 2020. Mierkey looks back on that experience and shares, “My dad would want me to be resilient and keep moving forward. So from a platform of remembrance of lost opportunities, lost loved ones, and my dad, I try to keep my focus on “what can be done.”
Mierkey continued, “To effectively set the stage for the opportunities we see before us at GCT, it is helpful to look back. It was a miracle that we opened the beautiful musical, “Mary Poppins” on March 13 of last year. The production required the work and effort from a massive team of volunteers. The reception from the audience was glorious, even amidst the looming threat. At the closing curtain on opening night, our beloved theatre went dark for more than a year.”
The team at Golden Chain Theatre showed “what can be done” repeatedly throughout the closure. Creating the Chain Link campaign, asking patrons to become sustaining members and help preserve community theater. They creatively produced a multi-part online melodrama, Oakhurst’s Dirty Laundry, in the summer of 2020. And, their talented crew also made fresh video content like Friday Night Live, Quarantine Cabaret, and Believe in Christmas for fans on Facebook.
“We are very excited to announce that our 54th consecutive melodrama is in rehearsals right now, and we are doing something extraordinary with this one,” explained James Mierkey. “Right now, there is a stage nearing completion in the theatre parking lot. Ours will be the region’s first-ever DRIVE-IN MELODRAMA!”
About 30-minutes south of Yosemite National Park this summer, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, boo at the villain and cheer for the hero while munching on free popcorn at an old-fashioned drive-in price. The show runs from May 28 – August 1, 2021, so pack up the family and discover throwback entertainment.
Are you ready for more good news? “Mary Poppins,” the show that enjoyed one spectacular performance before the shutdown, is coming back for an extended run in September 2021!
“Over the past difficulties, we have witnessed countless examples of community members supporting each other in ‘what can be done.’ We are incredibly grateful for our friends, this beautiful place we live, and our caring neighbors who show their generosity and support. It truly makes us all stronger,” Mierkey concluded.
Formed in 1985, Visit Yosemite | Madera County’s mission is to draw the millions of Yosemite National Park visitors to the many businesses and attractions in its gateway. We invite visitors to take a journey from the Fossil Discovery Center to the Madera Wine Trail and onward into the High Sierra. Along the way, discover incredible dining, talented tradespersons, four seasons of water sports at Bass Lake, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, and mighty adventures right up to the massive Giant Sequoia trees. Madera County is the gateway to so much more.