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Happy Birthday, Arizona! ASU MainStage offers peeks into moments from state history

Stories of Arizonans will be told and sung in ASU MainStage Season production.

Photo by Courtesy of Cline Library Special Collections, Northern Arizona University.

January 12, 2012

The ASU School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


Figures from Arizona’s history – including Lozen, a female Apache warrior who fought with Geronimo, and modern day warrior Lori Ann Piestewa, the first US military woman killed in Iraq -- are among the Arizonans whose lives are retold in the MainStage Season production of Untold Stories/Unsung Heroes.

Untold Stories/Unsung Heroes tells the most poetic, comedic and iconic stories that were unearthed over the past year by a dedicated team of ASU theatre students. Under the direction of Pamela Sterling, professor at the School of Theatre and Film, the stories were culled from thousands of archival sources and from interviews with contemporary Arizonans including a group of centenarians from the Pioneer Village in Prescott and the students' friends, neighbors and relatives.

The stories were woven into the new play, which is part of the Arizona Centennial Project New Works Series and is an official selection of the Arizona Centennial Commemoration Project.

“The Call of the West was felt by many, and indeed still is,” Sterling says. “Arizona offered free land, open space, a chance to start anew; in a word: opportunity. In many ways, it still does those things. But we wanted to go beyond the legends, and learn about the lives of the real people who settled here, and who is living here now.”

People who will be pictured in Untold/Unsung include: Lozen, Apache warrior; Soto Vasquez, founder of Teatro Carmen in Tucson and Elizabeth Hudson Smith; an African American woman who independently owned and operated a hotel in Wickenburg; George W. Parsons, lawyer, banker, and citizen of Tombstone who had a bird's eye view of the gunfight at the OK Corra and Borislav Bogdanovich, artist and relative of film director Peter Bogdonavich.

A number of events will surround the play designed to invite area residents into the celebration. These include an exhibit,Tell Your Story , which will be on display in the Lyceum Theatre lobby. Students have established a a Facebook Page ( where people can learn more about the state’s colorful figures, and a video clip series, Arizona 100 Stories, where students recount the stories they have uncovered during their research. Pre-show activities include Living Statues that come to life to import the stories of Arizonians. 

Feb. 10- 11, 16-18 at 7:30 p.m.; Feb 12 and 19 at 2 p.m.

Lyceum Theatre, 901. S. Forest Mall, ASU Tempe campus.

$8–$16; Seniors, ASU faculty, staff and students receive special rates. Special discounts for groups available.

Public Contact
Herberger Institute box office, 480.965.6447
School of Theatre and Film. 480.965.5337 
For more information, check-out the following Web pages:
ASU School of Theatre and Film:

The School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the dramatic writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. To learn more about the School of Theatre and Film, visit

Media Contact:
Laurie A. Trotta Valenti 
ASU Herberger Institute 
School of Theatre and Film