Lilacs in the Valley
Lilacs in the Valley – Script
One needed for each performer and others directing or working with production.
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Lilacs in the Valley

Take your audience through a true, humorous, but touching story of a young man named Alma Hale who is part of a wagon train company heading west.

Related Products
NameDescription
Lilacs in the Valley – Vocal BookLilacs in the Valley – Vocal Book. Suggest one copy per performer, or have them purchase their own. Must purchase each copy desired.
Lilacs in the Valley – Combo/Piano Score Lilacs in the Valley – Combo/Piano Score – Suggest purchase one for performance/and or rehearsal pianist. Must purchase each copy used.
Lilacs in the Valley – MP3 Instrumental Only Lilacs in the Valley – MP3 Instrumental Only. – Suggest purchase one for performance and possibly each performer or they can purchase their own. Must pay for each copy used.
Lilacs in the Valley – MP3 Instrumental Only Lilacs in the Valley – MP3 With Vocals – This does not have all songs, but has most of the major ones. We suggest purchasing one for each cast member or have them purchase their own. Must purchase each copy used.
Lilacs in the Valley- Orchestra Score Lilacs in the Valley – Orchestra Score – One needed for performance
Lilacs in the Valley- Peformance Royalty Lilacs in the Valley – Peformance Royalty – One needed for each performance.


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Lilacs in the Valley

Take your audience through a true, humorous, but touching story of a young man named Alma Hale. Alma is part of a wagon company heading west. He has a close-knit family and Alma himself is a bit of a prankster. This is a humorous but very touching musical.

Scripts Needed (minimum): 15 minimum

Performance Royalty:  1 per performance

Cast: 8+Male, 7+ Female, Many others

Time: 2.5 hours

Sets:  Lots of small sets, uses backdrops if available

Author/Composer/Lyricist    Daris Howard  (Bio)

Arranger:    Donna Howard  (Bio)

Arranger:    Dan Lee

Synopsis:

     Lilacs in the Valley will take your audience through a fun, humorous, but touching story, based loosely on the lives of a pioneer family, and especially on the life of a young man named Alma Hale. Alma is part of a wagon company heading west. He has a close-knit family, and Alma, himself, is a bit of a prankster. In this story, Alma especially enjoys playing tricks on his Uncle Henry who is 35 years old and still single.
     Heading west they face the challenges and enjoy the humor of western life. When Alma’s sister, Emily, dies, Alma faces the greatest challenge of his life. The musical deals with Alma’s struggle to understand about love and loss.
     Uncle Henry thinks Alma needs some spice put back in his life. He fills Alma’s bedroll with snakes and lizards. When Alma finds out who did it he and his teenage buddies decide to play the greatest trick of all on Henry. They snooker him into marrying the big bossy woman, Gertrude, whom Henry is trying to avoid.
     Old Uncle Henry learns to love someone and in turn teaches Alma about love and life.

Lilacs in the Valley

Lilacs in the Valley

By

Daris and Donna Howard

arranged by
Dan Lee
 with arrangements also by
Daris and Donna Howard

Copyright ©1997 by Daris Howard
All Rights Reserved
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that LILACS IN THE VALLEY is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved.
    The amateur live stage performance rights to LILACS IN THE VALLEY are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended, dates of production, your seating capacity and the admission fee.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source, 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.      
    Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.
    Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.
    Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source”
    Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher or as expressly declared by the publisher for evaluation purposes.


    I would like to give those reading or performing this musical a bit of insight into it.   The musical is about the family of Jonathan Harriman Hale.  It was taken from the journals, news articles, and oral histories of this family.  I chose this family because I am a descendant of Jonathan, making it easier to do the research.  I had ancestors on both the Mormon trail and the Oregon trail, but the Mormon movement is the best documented, has the most journals, and is the easiest to write about.  Though this is about the Hale family, it could be about many a pioneer family.  It is not meant to follow the Mormon movement, but to give a feel for the sacrifice of the western movement and similar sagas such as the pilgrim migration to the new world.
    Many of these people were trying to escape persecution of oppressive governments or persecutions because of their religion.  Others were trying to escape economic hardships and find a new life.    All were trying to find a better world to raise a family or to start over.  Even though the setting is the Mormon trail much of the story line could have been with any people seeking a better life.
    Writing this musical has helped me understand and love those of all time periods who have sacrificed that I might have a better life.  I also wanted to make this a musical because it’s main purpose is to convey what these people were feeling.  The medium of music can portray feelings in ways words alone can not.  Because of the magnitude of this project I have drawn on the talents of others, especially my sweet wife, to help bring out the music and script as I envisioned it.
     Jonathan Harriman Hale, Olive Boynton Hale, their family, and many of the others were real people.  However, many of them had similar names so I changed some names to make the musical less confusing.
    I have also changed the ages of some of the characters.  The musical covers approximately 10 years.  The main characters were given  ages at which they don’t change a lot physically over that time period.  Also some parts needed to be cast older to have more mature actors.
    Though most of  the main events of the musical are actual events, some of the events actually occurred  in different places from where they are depicted.  Working with a stage and limited sets requires grouping many events so they appear to happen the same day or near the same time.
     There are also some fun things taken from oral histories I have included or expanded on in the musical.  Oral histories indicate that Alma was a bit of a prankster.
    I couldn’t find anything written about this, but feel that many of the oral histories, though not as exact as written ones, carry a lot of truth that brings out the character of these men and women.  Often the journal entries are very factual, but give little insight into the character of the individuals.  Oral histories, handed down through the years, are often better indicators of what a person was really like.  Because I wanted the musical to show the feelings and thoughts of these people, I went to sources where I could get those feelings and thoughts.
    After getting as much insight into each individual as I could, I took that understanding and tried to sense how that person might respond in a given situation.  This was very important to me. I did not want to show these men and women as superhuman, but as living, loving, individuals.
    I hope those seeing or acting in the musical, as well as those wonderful men and women who have gone before us, will forgive the liberty I took in the changes I made.  I tried to keep the events that occurred as factual as I could while fulfilling my main purpose to help people see as they saw and feel as they felt.  I wanted all participants, both the actors and the audience, to feel the sorrow and suffering, sense the courage and strength of these pioneers,  and with those feelings, make a renewed dedication to find greater strength within themselves.
         I hope you enjoy the musical.               
                 Daris Howard


            Notes about the family and others:   
    Olive’s sister, Clarissa,  married Henry Harriman.  I want to make it clear that Henry Hale is in no way a reflection of Henry Harriman, even though the children did have an Uncle Henry who helped them cross the plains.  Bishop Hoagland was a real man, but built into his character are the characters of Henry Harriman, Jonathan’s cousin  Heber C. Kimball, and the real Bishop Hoagland.  Henry Harriman and Heber C. Kimball were a great strength to the children.
    Henry Hale and Gertrude Schultz are not real people taken from the histories I have read; they are a composite of people I have known in my life.
Dedication – I would like to dedicate this musical to my sweet wife and children; they are my inspiration.  They were patient as I spent untold hours researching and writing.  My wife, Donna,  spent many hours at my side, helping with things beyond my own talent to make the finished work much better than it would have been otherwise.  Also, I make a special dedication to our sweet baby, Tracy, whom we were expecting, but lost just a few days before Christmas while I was writing this musical.  As we continued to work on the script and music, the tender feelings we felt for her helped us understand what some of our ancestors must have felt.  In particular I dedicate to Tracy “Rest Well, My Baby,” which came to me the evening we found out we had lost her.
                  Daris Howard

Lilacs in the Valley (Cast)
If there are too few people to fill all of the parts some people can play multiple parts.  For example, Joseph Smith is on for only a bit of the first scene.  He could play other characters later on with some makeup, beards, or other changes. *The men who play the two gold prospectors, Dr. Smith, Joseph, and Bron could be other men in the cast.  If there are plenty of men, the men who play these parts could be part of the company with some changes in clothes and appearance.   Mary Rose’s lines could be said by Agnes Walker.
Men & teenage young men {Minimum=11 – more is better.}
Woman & teenage young ladies {Minimum=6 – more is better.}
Children {Minimum=3, Solomon about 6, two girls about 8-10 – more is better.}
Jonathan Hale Family
Jonathan Hale – Father. Jonathan is in the age range of 45-50.  He is a serious but very kind, caring man.
Olive Boynton Hale  – Jonathan’s wife.  Sweet, loving wife and mother.  About 45-50 years old.
Alma Hale – A young man, late teens.  He begins the musical at a supposed age of 14 and is about 24 at the end.  With this in mind, he will need to be a young man who can look both ages.  He is also a quite a prankster, but has a loving heart.
Emily – Meant to be a young girl of about 6 years.  She has some singing parts and some other important parts so she might need to be a bit older, possibly even up to 10, but still look as young as possible.  Having her hair in braids might help her look younger.   She is sweet, but mischievous.  She knows how to take Alma’s teasing and give it right back.
Aroet (ah-ROW-it) Hale  – Alma’s brother and slightly older.  He will need to look from 16 to 26.  He is a lot more serious than his younger brother.
Rachel – About 15 years old. Understanding and loving.
Solomon  – about 5 years old.  Not many speaking parts, but must be old enough to play his part seriously.
Clarissa – Baby to about 3 years old.  It might work if she can toddle on in one scene, or be carried on, so the audience can love her.  If no child is available a doll could be used.
Henry Hale – Jonathan’s brother.  He is a man of about 35.  He has to be someone who can ham up his part and have a lot of fun.
Other Men in the company and town
Miles Walker – A man of about 40 – 50 years old.  He is Martha and Frank’s father and Jonathan’s friend.
Bishop William Hoagland – A man of  40-50 years.  He is the leader of the group from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley.
Lucas Hoagland – A young man, about 19 years of age.
Frank Walker, Tom , Andrew – These are young men of about 18 or 19.
Jim – A very old man in the company.  Walks with a cane, but is very feisty.  He is almost deaf and speaks in a loud voice.
*Bron Schultz – Gertrude’s cousin.  He is a foreigner and speaks with an accent, possibly German. Any age from about 20-50.
*Joseph Smith – 38 years old. On for only one short scene.
*Two Gold Prospectors – Any age from about 18 – 50.  A bit rough and unshaven.  On for only one short scene.
*Dr. Smith – Middle-aged man.  On for only one short scene.

Other Women in the company and town
Martha – A young lady of about 17.  She needs to be able to look about 14 at the beginning of the musical to about 24 at the end.   She is a quiet, but a supportive young lady and wife.
Gertrude Schultz – A big (or at least forceful) woman with a strong foreign (possibly German) accent.  She is tough and bossy, but likes to thinks she is weak and feminine.
Agnes Walker – Miles’s wife.  A no-nonsense kind of woman.  About 40 -50 years old.
Olive Whittle – About 19 years old.  Marries Aroet.
Mary Rose – A lady of high class.  Could be anywhere from 20 to 50.

Other Children in the company and town
Emily(2) – Alma’s daughter.  Needs to be about 6.
Jonathan(2) – Alma’s son.  Needs to be a young boy about 4.  He has no lines.  He just follows Emily(2) on and off the stage.
James – Boy about 6.  Son of Aroet.  This part could just be referenced if need be, since he has no lines.
Olive(3) – Daughter of Aroet.  About 4.  This part also could just be referenced if need be, since she has no lines.

 In the very last scene, if you have children available,  you could use three children about 6 or 7 years old to be Henry’s triplets.  The script says two boys and a girl, but this line could be changed according to the cast available.  Gertrude should come in with about eight children plus two bundles representing babies. (Many children here really adds to this part.) The children should range in age from seven down.  It would be good to have a few children in the group scenes as well.  Children could be used in multiple parts if dressed differently.

Others – It will add greatly if there are others who are part of the chorus, filling in as other members of the company.



Lilacs in the Valley Act I:

Time Line
Scenes 1-4:          Nauvoo, Illinois –  June 1844
Scenes 5-6:          Nauvoo, Illinois – Early May 1846
Scenes 7-9:        Winter Quarters – July 1846
Scenes 10-11:    Winter Quarters – September to October 1846
Scenes 12            Winter Quarters – Spring 1847


Act I    Scene 1
In the background is a mural showing the city of Nauvoo, Illinois.  Either the river or the temple on the hill could be part of it.  Stage left  is the inside of the Jonathan Harriman Hale home with the  walls facing downstage.  One door  opens into center stage and one door  opens upstage.
    Gathered in the cabin are Joseph Smith, Jonathan Hale, Alma Hale, and Henry Hale.  Joseph and Jonathan are sitting.  Alma is standing by the door and Henry is standing to the other side of the house.  As the curtains open, Jonathan and Joseph are in the middle of a discussion.


Joseph: On order of Governor Ford, we are going to disband the Nauvoo Legion, and Hyrum and I are going to surrender for trial in Carthage.


Jonathan: But Joseph, that will leave us vulnerable like it did in Far West.  The armies marched in and did anything they wanted to us.


Joseph: I know, Jonathan, but I don’t feel we should fight.


Jonathan: Alright.  I’ll help disband my unit, then I’ll accompany you to Carthage.


Joseph: No Jonathan, General Dunham might need you to help with plans for the Nauvoo Legion.


Jonathan: But who’s going to protect you in Carthage?  It’s full of people who hate you and have sworn your death.


Joseph: I know.  Governor Ford has ordered the Carthage Greys to protect me.


Jonathan: {rising and showing great alarm} The Carthage Greys?  Most of them are your enemies!  That’s like swearing the wolves to guard the sheep!


Joseph: {rising and bringing Jonathan close to express his vision of events ahead} I know,

Jonathan.  This people will leave Nauvoo and move to the Rocky Mountains.  I will not be with them.   Moses was shown the Promised Land but not allowed to enter, and that is how it will be with me. {Turning to leave} I must go take care of other things now.{Joseph then begins to depart.  He pauses at the door and puts his hand on Alma’s shoulder.} Alma Hale, you’re a good young man.  Remember to keep your sense of humor through all your challenges.  Sometimes it will be the only thing that will get you through. {Then laughing} But, don’t go tumbling any more of the governor’s men into the mud.


Alma: {Somewhat embarrassed} Yes, Joseph.


{Joseph then exits the house and goes offstage left behind the house.}


Jonathan: {Turning to face Henry} Henry, I’ll need you to help me gather our Cohort of the  Nauvoo Legion.  I want you to ride around to every man, tell them to meet at the town square at 10 o’clock, and to bring their arms.


Henry: {in a loud commanding voice, saluting} Yes sir, Jonathan. I’ll do it!


Jonathan: Stop that saluting.  You’re my brother, for pete’s sake.


Henry: {in a more subdued voice} Jonathan, what do you think Joseph meant when he said he won’t be going to the Rocky Mountains with us?


Jonathan: I think Joseph knows he’ll be killed if he goes to Carthage, but Joseph will do what is asked of him, no matter what.  It takes a great man to do that.  Now, Henry, go sound the call.


{After this, Alma quietly slips out and then does a mad dash offstage right, while Henry gets his rifle and slowly exits and saunters out onto stage, giving a few seconds offstage to Alma.}


Alma: {casually comes back on stage} Got your horse ready, Uncle Henry.


{Henry nods and continues offstage right.  From behind the house, upstage left, Emily enters carrying a watering can.}


Alma: Hi, Emily, come watch some fun.


{Emily has a quizzical expression, but comes over to Alma and looks offstage right in the direction Alma is looking.  Suddenly they hear Henry scream. There is a lot of commotion, and then it is quiet.  Alma is doubled up with laughter, and Emily stands with an amused smile on her face.  Jonathan steps outside.}


Jonathan: What was all that racket?


{Alma, at the sound of his father’s voice, suddenly becomes quiet and tries to hold back a smile.  Henry comes in carrying a lead rope and/or a saddle blanket with the back side of the saddle blanket full of burrs.}


Henry: {glaring at Alma} Some low-down hooligan put burrs under my saddle, and old Bess threw me a good 20 feet high.  I’m lucky to be alive.


Jonathan: {looking at Alma} Alma Helaman!  {Turning to face Henry} You all right, Henry?


Henry: Yes, {again turning to glare at Alma} no thanks to a certain prankster.  It takes more than a throw to the ground to hurt Henry Hale.  {He glares at Alma’s and stomps offstage right.}


Alma: {to Emily} He must have landed on his head.  {He and Emily break into laughter.}


Jonathan: {In a loud voice} Alma Helaman!   {This brings the laughter to a quick halt.} I don’t need your pranks at a time like this.  I’ll deal with this later.


{Alma looks a bit ashamed and embarrassed.  Jonathan goes back into the house and is busy writing at the table.}


Alma: {Turning to Emily} Hey, Em, where are you going with the watering can? To water your lilacs?


Emily: Yes.


Alma: You sure take good care of the lilacs.


Emily: Mother gave them to me.  She said that she hasn’t been back home to Boston since she and Father left.  The lilacs are all she has from there. {In a very proud tone, acting as though Alma wouldn’t be trusted.} And she gave them to me to take care of because she trusts me.


Alma: I just like the flowers.


Emily: The flowers look like little stars, and they’re all together like a family.


{It is important to emphasize this phrase because it is important later on.}


Alma: Who told you that?


Emily: Mother.


Alma: Stars all together like a family.  I like that. {pause} Do you want me to help you water them?


Emily: No!  Last time you watered me, not the lilacs!


{Music starts}


 Alma: {In an overly sweet voice, putting his arm around her and leaning his head her way} Oh,Emily, don’t you trust me?


Emily: {with an emphatic voice, maybe pinch his cheek} No!


Alma: {laughs} Can I help it if the can slipped?


Emily: It’s a good thing it did slip or you wouldn’t have gotten any water at all on the lilacs.


{Alma laughs again.  Jonathan goes offstage left before the song starts.}

( 2. You Make Me Smile ) {This song and the actions with it should be a bit of a teasing between the two of them.}
Alma: You make me smile. Everybody needs a sister like you.
You make me laugh at all the funny things you say and do.
You are the sunshine of my life.
You are the stars that light up my dark nights.
You take my saddest day  and turn it all away
And make everything turn out all right.
Emily: You make me smile. Everybody needs a brother like you.
You make me laugh, at all the funny pranks I see you do.
You make my worries all seem light
When I’m wrapped up in your arms so tight.
You take my tears each day and wipe them all away,
And make everything turn out all right.
Alma: You make me smile.  There will never be another like you.
Emily: You make life fun.  I’d rather be with you than anyone.
Alma: You bring so much love to my life.  No one could ever make my life so grand.
Emily: You can make a great day be better anyway,
Together: You  make life good like no one can.  You are the sunshine of my life.

{As the song ends, Alma is kneeling on one knee with his arm around Emily.}


Emily: I’d better go get the lilacs watered.


{Emily leaves stage right.  Jonathan comes back on stage and comes out of the cabin carrying his rifle.}


Jonathan: Alma, I want you to stay here and watch over your mother.  Don’t let Emily or any of the others come down to the town square.


Alma: Do you expect some fighting?


Jonathan: No, but I don’t want to take any chances.  If Aroet comes home, send him over.


Alma: Can’t I come and let Aroet stay here?


{Emily enters unnoticed  by the two and stands motionless upstage right.}


Jonathan: Last time we had a state official in town you loosened all the straps on the harness of his buggy.  When he laid the whip to his horse she high-tailed it out of town, dropping the buggy and rolling him into the mud.


Alma: {looking a bit sheepish} Well, Joseph laughed.


Jonathan: Oh, yes.  I’ve heard a thousand times how Joseph said the only bad part was that he had to keep a useless government official in town while our men rounded up the horse.  However, that does not excuse such behavior.


Alma: Sorry, Father.


Jonathan: Alma, I’m so afraid that someday your pranks are going to get you into real trouble.  If Joseph hadn’t taken such a shine to you, I think there are a few times you would have been flogged.  Now, you stay here. {Begins leaving and then pauses.}  And Alma, try not to get into any trouble.


{Jonathan leaves stage right.  Emily sneaks up quietly behind Alma who is deep in thought.}


Emily: {Trying to speak in a deep voice like her Father to scare Alma.}  And try not to get into trouble.


{As Alma jumps, Emily laughs.}


Alma: You little eavesdropper.


{Gertrude, a big woman with a foreign (possibly German-type) accent enters from stage left calling loudly from behind the house.}


Gertrude: ’enry!  Oh ’enry!  Oh, ’i Alma and Emily.  ’aff you seen your uncle?


Alma: {With finger to lips} Shhh.  Someone might hear you.


Gertrude: {A bit more subdued and scared.}  Vy? Are dere some mob people around?


Alma: {Taking her by the arm and then checking both ways to make sure no one is listening.}  No. Someone might hear you call him my uncle.


{Alma then breaks into boisterous laughter and Emily joins him.}


Gertrude: {In a mad, haughty tone} You’re a naughty boy and you’re teaching your sister bad tings too.  Vy, vy… you don’t deserve to ’ave ’im for an uncle.


Alma: Why Sister Schultz, that’s the nicest thing you ever said to me.  It’s a sad man that does deserve him as an uncle.


Gertrude: {now a bit flustered} Dat is not vut I meant.  I meant ’e is a goot man, and you are a naughty boy to alvays play yokes on ’im.


Alma: {laughing} By the way, just why are you looking for him?


Gertrude: I ’eard that some mob might be a-comin’ and I need a goot, strong man to protect me.


Alma: Well I’ll tell Henry that you want him to find you one.


{Alma starts laughing again.}


Gertrude: {Grabs Alma by the ear and pulls him up onto his tiptoes, then wags her finger at him.}  You mind some day, Alma ’Elaman ’Ale, dat sensus of humorous of yours is going to get you into trouble.


{Gertrude stomps out back behind the house backstage left swinging her arms to look like a tank.}


Alma: {shaking his head as if to straighten out a stiff neck}   It’s no wonder Uncle Henry is still single; with a woman like Gertrude after him.  Now I know why they call her the second Nauvoo legion.


{Martha enters from stage right, obviously dressed  too pretty for a regular workday.  Emily, walking offstage right, passes her, stops, eyes her over, imitates her walk, then continues off.}


Martha: Alma, did you hear the news?  They’re disbanding the Nauvoo Legion.


Alma: I know.  Joseph said we weren’t to fight.


Martha: I think that’s very frightening.  After we surrendered in Far West, Missouri, we were left unprotected.


Alma: What scares me more is that Joseph is going to Carthage for trial.


Martha: Oh, Alma!  I hope he’ll be all right.


Alma:  Me too.  He has always been so kind to me.


{Martha gets up close to Alma and he puts his arm around her as she leans her head against him.  Aroet enters from behind the house stage left carrying an armload of wood  and they quickly break apart.  Aroet just gives a bit of a smile but says nothing.  Emily enters upstage right, unnoticed, carrying a bucket that is a bit too big for her.  She stops upstage and sets it down, still unnoticed by the others.}


Alma: Oh, {stammering} hi, Aroet.  We were talki

Lilacs in the Valley

Author: Daris Howard
     Daris Howard is an author and playwright who grew up on a farm in rural Idaho. He associated with many colorful characters including cowboys, farmers, lumberjacks and others.
     Daris and his wife, Donna, have ten children and were foster parents for several years. He has also worked in scouting and cub scouts, at one time having 18 boys in his scout troop.
     His plays, musicals, and books build on the characters of those he has associated with, along with his many experiences, to bring his work to life.
    He and his family have enjoyed running a summer community theatre where he gets a chance to premiere his theatrical works and rework them to make them better. His published plays and books can be seen at http://www.darishoward.com. He has plays translated into German and French and his work has been done in many countries around the world.
     In the last few years, Daris has started writing books and short stories. He writes a popular news column called Life’s Outtakes, that consists of weekly short stories and is published in various newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Canada and has won many awards for his writing. Author: Donna Howard
Donna Howard has a bachelor of music in clarinet performance and music composition from Brigham Young University – Idaho. She has a master’s degree in music composition from Stephen F. Austin State University. Donna loves the performance arena of music. She loves to play in jazz bands, dance bands, orchestras, and musicals. Also trained under Wilson Brown, she learned many of the techniques of high quality performance and music.

Pursuing her degree in music, she also found great interest in the theory of music. Using these skills and working together, Donna and Daris were able to go through the songs written for the musical and refine them, making the finished product much better.

In the musical Lilacs in the Valley, her arranging style can be felt in songs like “It Ain’t Much But It’s Home” and “Walkin’ Along”. 

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