Dean Dorrell and Julie Wadsworth are no strangers to the stage. In fact, the two Washington natives have worked together on Veale Creek Players productions but now the two are performing on a bigger stage, the Lincoln Amphitheatre, in Lincoln City, the boyhood home of our 16th president Abraham Lincoln, in a musical called "A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale. "
"A lot of people forget that Lincoln lived in southern Indiana from age 7 until he was 21," said Wadsworth who plays Mary Todd Lincoln. "The musical covers his time here in Indiana. It's Lincoln telling stories about his time here to his children."
Written by Ken Jones, a theatre professor at Northern Kentucky University, "A Pioneer Tale" is an original musical that Wadsworth said the writer has made as historically accurate as possible.
The musical made its debut two years ago and as more information unfolds on Lincoln's time in the Hoosier state, Jones updates the information. "It's always a little different. For instance, there are a couple of new people that were introduced this year that he recently found out were part of Lincoln's life here."
"A Pioneer Tale" is the first performance at the amphitheatre for Wadsworth but Dorrell has been portraying Lincoln since the musicals run began in 2012. "I've actually been playing Lincoln since 1996 and in 2000 I heard about the "Young Abe Lincoln" play. I found out the actor who played Lincoln was retiring and I auditioned for his place," said Dorrell. "That show ran for four years before they stopped doing shows here. When the shows were revived in 2009 I came back and have been here ever since."
Dorrell, who holds a lifetime membership in the Association of Lincoln Presenters, was honored in 2002 with the Abraham Lincoln of the Year award and has also played the president in commercials as well as for school functions in addition to his numerous stage performances.