NEBRASKAland July 2014

Read the full issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. See stunning photographs of Nebraska outdoors.

Issue link: http://digital.outdoornebraska.gov/i/330468

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Page 16 of 59

ABOVE: Professional singer and actor Paige Salter shines in the 2013 production "Hollywood: a Cabaret" at Fort Robinson's Post Playhouse. 16 NEBRASKAland • JULY 2014 JULY 2014 • NEBRASKAland 17 Text and photos by Mark Harris A World-class Act ABO ABOVE VE: Pr f ofe i ssional singer d and actor The Playhouse at Fort Robinson O ne spring morning well before Nebraska's tourist season, the cast of Fort Robinson State Park's Post Playhouse Theater awoke to the sharp crack of nearby rifle fire. Actor and musician Dan Denton grew up in Kansas so he's familiar with western ways, but men blasting targets cavalry-style from the backs of galloping horses still registered as odd. The shooting competition was one of many cultural changes Nebraska's sparsely populated Old West country presented to Denton and his fellow performers, but a summer acting gig at Fort Robinson is coveted. Janet McWilliams, star of "Annie Get Your Gun," remarkably resembles the Annie Oakley seen in historical photos, but as a vegetarian from Philadelphia, that's where the likeness ends. "If you love meat, Nebraska is really the place for you," she said laughing. "It took me a while to acclimate." But small sacrifices at the Fort are offset by better things. "On the East Coast, people are always in a rush and nobody has time to sit and talk to you," McWilliams said. "Here, everyone wants to know who you are and what you're doing. It's hard to train yourself to slow up and calm down like western Nebraskans." Paige Salter from Chattanooga, Tennessee, is in her fifth season at the Playhouse, and agrees with the unique atmosphere. "I hate to be all cheesy, but it's a magical experience out here. When I first came, I'd never seen a place where there weren't buildings everywhere! Everywhere I looked it was a postcard picture. I'm kind of obsessed with the beauty now and I don't miss the lack of malls and Internet."

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