How A Desert Broadway Began
Doug Stewart, a playwright with his talented hand in “Saturday’s Warrior,” “Against a Crooked Sky,” and “Where the Red Fern Grows,” did not envision a “Broadway in the Canyon” when he discovered Padre Canyon in 1991. With donations from other theater lovers, Stewart began building his dream. He named the place “Tuacahn” from the Mayan language, meaning “Canyon of the Gods.” Stewart’s intended to run his original play, “Utah!” every year. Yet the majestic outdoor amphitheater has branched out instead, performing Broadway and Disney productions, earning the nickname, “Broadway in the Canyon.”
Before the Broadway productions even hit the stage, before there even was a stage, someone spotted a dead Mojave Desert tortoise along the new road into Padre Canyon. An outcry declared that the federally protected animal, with a place on the threatened species list, died because of construction. As a result, mechanized vehicles were banned from traveling the road.
No worries. We have wagons, don’t we? We still have horses. We haven’t lost the skill of buckling on a harness. So construction continued…dare I say it?…at a tortoise’s pace. But on it went, until the ban was eventually lifted.
Broadway in the Canyon – 2018
One reason the Tuacahn Board branched out to producing other plays is, as good as the original “Utah!” was, once you’ve seen it, well, you’ve seen it. When new performances rolled out onto the outdoor stage, attendance and revenues soared as high as Mary Poppins’ open umbrella. The board also reached further afield for professional actors. Boosting the polish on the performances thrilled audiences, who found themselves delightfully lost in the stories portrayed onstage.
Performances start May 25th with “Cinderella,” June 1 with “Matilda,” and July 13 with “The Prince of Egypt.” Shows stagger their runs throughout the summer, so find the date that’s right for you and see your favorite show! Better yet, see all three! Click for events schedule.
But Wait…There’s More!
Besides Broadway in the Canyon, Tuacahn also offers other performances from musicians and comedians. No matter when you visit the St. George area, there’s something for you at the incomparable Tuacahn outdoor theater.