Green Earth Players presenting 'The Homecoming'

LUVERNE -- Before "The Waltons" aired on TV, the Spencer Family made its debut in a made-for-TV movie called "The Homecoming." "The Homecoming" became so popular it sparked the classic TV show, "The Waltons." The Green Earth Players opened "The H...

The cast of the “The Homecoming” poses together before dress rehearsal begins Thursday. (Kristin Kirtz/Daily Globe)
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LUVERNE - Before “The Waltons” aired on TV, the Spencer Family made its debut in a made-for-TV movie called “The Homecoming.”
“The Homecoming” became so popular it sparked the classic TV show, “The Waltons.”
The Green Earth Players opened “The Homecoming” at the Palace Theatre in Luverne on Friday. Performances of the play will continue this weekend and next.
Set on Christmas Eve in 1933, the Spencer family is waiting for father, Clay Spencer, to return home from work. Due to the Great Depression, Clay couldn’t find work close to home and took a job away from Spencer Mountain. Then, the bus that he should be on to return home doesn’t show.
After waiting nearly all day, mother Olivia Spencer sends her oldest, Clay-Boy, out on Christmas Eve night to hunt for his father.
Director Shawn Kinsinger, said the journey for Clay-Boy to find his father turns out to be an important lesson in the boy’s life.
“Along his journey to find his father he discovers things about his father and about himself that he hadn’t thought before,” Kinsinger said. “He does a lot of growing up in the course of the night and finds out a lot about his dad he didn’t know or that he had wrong.”
Kinsinger said it’s a show the whole family can enjoy together this holiday season.
“The moral that the show tries to get across is how important family is,” he said. “The family are in the teeth of the depression - it’s about as bad as it can get. Food is scarce, Mama is worried about presents being there for the kids. Through it all though they always have each other … and in the end that’s really all they need.”
The cast of 30 ranges in age and experience. Kinsinger said he was impressed with all the young talent that tried out for the play.
“We have a great pool of young actors and talent right now here in Luverne,” Kinsinger said. “It’s fun to watch the kids learn …. and it’s fun to watch the adults who have done this for years to watch them teach the next generation how it works.”
“The Homecoming” will run at the Palace Theatre in Luverne at 7:30 p.m. tonight, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Nov. 21. 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 22. The play is approximately two hours in length.

Related Topics: THEATER
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