Young Abe Lincoln Outdoor Drama
Young Abe Lincoln Outdoor Drama
Indiana's only outdoor drama, "Young Abe Lincoln," is performed each summer in a rustic setting in the same woods where Abraham Lincoln actually walked over 150 years ago.
Lincoln State Park is the home of the $3.5 million state-funded Lincoln Amphitheatre, where the drama is staged.
The two-act drama depicts Lincoln's 14 years in Spencer County from the age of 7 through 21.
Following its premiere in June 1987, the play received reviews calling it: "a smash...sets are lavish and effective," by The Spencer County Journal-Democrat, "amazing but believable," by the The (Tell City) News, "touching, lively and captivating..." by The Indianapolis Star, and "whimsical and profound," by The Chicago Tribune.
The play has been described as depicting what happens to a child that prepares him for greatness and how hard it was for the Lincoln family to come to Indiana.
The drama's renowned playwright, Billy Edd Wheeler, did extensive research for the play which includes as many historical facts about the Lincolns' life in Indiana as possible. The play, which includes several musical numbers, features live animals on stage and Abe taking a flatboat trip to New Orleans where he first witnesses a slave auction and prostitution.
The two-act drama includes emotionally-riveting scenes in which Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, dies of milk sickness and his sister, Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, dies in childbirth. Another moving scene occurs when a slave couple is separated after the wife is sold on the auction block.
While the drama has heart-rendering scenes, it also makes you laugh. There are scenes in which Abe dances and sings and plays pranks.
Lincoln is portrayed as a mischievous boy who develops into a bright, witty man of 21. He is also depicted as a young man who did not like manual labor and always wanted to learn more.
A likeness of President Lincoln appears briefly at the end of the drama.
For ticket information, write:
Young Abe Lincoln
P.O. Box 100
Lincoln City, IN 47552
The outdoor amphitheater in Lincoln State Park is unique to the area, the state and the whole country.
The Lincoln Amphitheatre is a roofed structure which distinguishes it from most other outdoor dramas.
Construction of the 1,514-seat facility began June 6, 1986. The State of Indiana funds the project at a cost of $3,559,261.
Even though the structure is covered with a roof, the sides are open, allowing for a feeling of the natural outdoor atmosphere. The amphitheater sits on a gently sloping hillside in a wooded setting.
The site of the amphitheater is close to the grave of Lincoln's only sister, Sarah Lincoln Grisgby, and the Gordon home and mill sites which played a prominent role in Lincoln's boyhood.
The stage of the amphitheater is large by drama standards and includes two revolving sets to allow for speedy set changes. Also included in the stage area is a 1,897-square-foot set shop and a 5,741-square-foot cast house.
The natural landscaped plaza entrance to the amphitheater includes a 1,331-square-foot ticket concessions building, two 1,239-square-foot restroom buildings and a 896-square-foot gift shop.
The main parking lot has room for 468 automobiles and seven buses. Additional parking in the west picnic area adjacent to the amphitheater will hold 103 cars and two buses. Asphalt walkways follow the road from the picnic area to the amphitheater.
There is also a 400-foot asphalt walkway from the main parking lot to the plaza entrance. There are steps up the hillside from the parking lot to the plaza area as well as an asphalt walkway for handicapped persons in wheelchairs.
There is a concrete walkway area behind the last row of seats to allow for people in wheelchairs to watch the play. There is also a cry room for small children in the building which houses the control room.
The control room is computerized which allows for quick changes to be made if necessary and the director to talk to people on stage.
The roof of the structure allows for lighting and special effects to built in, which is also a unique feature for outdoor dramas.
The roof also assures there will never be a rain-out, unless there is extremely severe weather.
The amphitheater is officially closed during the winter.