Museum lecture celebrates Northern Nevada theater

CARSON CITY, Nevada – Nevada’s theatrical history is long, rich and storied – from Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City to the McKissick Theater in Reno to the Eureka Opera House to the casino showrooms big and small around the state.

The state has experienced a wide array of colorful characters, theater activities and movements which have enriched the lives of its citizens and enhanced its cultural legacy.

That history the subject of this month’s Frances Humphrey Lecture at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City. The event is Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, free for museum members and children 17 and younger.

Jim Bernardi, theater professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the guest lecturer. Bernardi’s areas of expertise include theater history, British theater, experimental theater and women in theater. He conducted annual theatrical tours to London for 31 years for both students and community participants. He also directed, designed or acted in nearly 100 plays during a 44-year teaching career.

It was during annual tours of Northern Nevada communities to present shows ranging from popular musicals, classics, children’s plays and popular comedies that Bernardi learned to appreciate and take delight in Nevada’s unique communities and their idiosyncrasies.

His lecture will tell of Nevada’s theatrical history that predates statehood, including the indigenous people’s dance rituals. He’ll also tell of Virginia City’s 19th century glory days when major routinely toured Nevada to perform at Piper’s Opera House and other regional venues.

The Nevada State Museum is located at 600 N. Carson St., in Carson City. Seating is limited; please reserve your seat by going to http://nvculture.org/nevadastatemuseumcarsoncity/events/