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Historical Dramas

Texas State Plays

Teepee; photo by Larry Lamsa on Flickr (use permitted with attribution).

Official State Plays & Outdoor Dramas of Texas

Texas has recognized four plays and outdoor dramas as official state symbols, all focusing on the history of the state. All Arts & Dramas


Focus is the area along the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. The story is recalled by an old-timer of the region - a cattleman who sits on the porch of a ranch house to reveal the past as he remembers it. The production consists of a series of segments, each based on historical material introduced by the narrators and then interpreted by one or more songs and dancing. 


Held in Palo Duro Canyon in a natural amphitheater - performed under the stars - a 600-foot cliff serves as the backdrop as you are taken into the past to reveal the struggles and celebrations of the early settlers, cowboys and native Americans. 

The Lone Star

Presented in Galveston Island State Park Amphitheatre - part of the "Lone Star Legacy" festival. Galveston Island State Park has an interesting 500 year history.

Beyond the Sundown

An outdoor Drama held by the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation. Last produced in 1983.

Origin of Theater

The origin of theater goes back to prehistoric people acting out their hunting experiences and ancients singing and dancing for religious ceremonies.

Theater as pure entertainment evolved slowly - the first recorded European theater was in ancient Greece about 600 BC (for a festival honoring the god of wine and fertility). A poet named Thespis won a dramatic play competition at this celebration and is so considered "the first actor" (and origin of the term thespian)