October 31, 2005

One-woman show features portrayal of Wilder

by Tim Crosby

judith helton

Judith Helton

CARBONDALE, ILL -- American pioneer-era author Laura Ingalls Wilder will come to life in November when a local native and Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus performs a free, one-woman show at McLeod Theater.

Judith Helton, a performing artist for almost 30 years, will portray Wilder, the author of the well-known "Little House on the Prairie" series of books. Mixing biographical history and stories from the books, Helton will bring to life the woman who brought a pioneer family's struggles and joys to generations of readers.

The show, which is appropriate for all ages, is set for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13.

"The show is great for children and families," said Anne Fletcher, assistant professor of Theater at SIUC. "Many of the students read the ‘Little House' books in elementary and middle school, so it's a perfect tie-in for them."

Helton, an award-winning artist and Carbondale native, has been performing her one-woman shows based on historical figures since 1976. She is a regular performer with Music Center on Tour in Los Angeles and the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

For more information about the free performance, call the marketing office at 618/453-7589 or the box office at McLeod Theater at 618/453-3001.

Expanding cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it nears its 150th anniversary in 2019.