John Muir: Rhapsody in Green
Exploring Alaska in search of glaciers with the great Scottish naturalist, as recalled by his friend, Samuel Hall Young.
Adapted for the stage from the writings of John Muir
Written & performed by Mike Maran
Sound design by Frances M Lynch & Herbie Clarke
Directed by Patrick Sandford
Short-listed for the Fringe Sustainable Practice Award by the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, Creative Carbon Scotland, and Festivals Edinburgh!
John Muir was born in Dunbar in 1838. When he was 11 years old he emigrated with his family to the USA and helped his father farm land in Wisconsin.
He left home to study botany in the ‘university of the wilderness’ and fetched up in California in 1868 where he discovered Yosemite. His careful observation and detailed recording of the mountainous landscape led him to understand the glacial origin of the valley which put him at odds with the prevailing academic view. Muir was right and the academics were wrong. He went to Alaska to observe glaciers in action. In 1879 he met the Revered Samuel Hall Young at Fort Wrangell in Alaska and the two of them explored the coastline together and discovered Glacier Bay where the biggest glacier is called ‘Muir Glacier.’
Muir became a key figure in the early environmental movement. In 1903 President Theodore Roosevelt came to visit him in the Yosemite Valley. Roosevelt’s time with Muir is the longest visit ever paid by a serving American President to a private citizen. After his return, Roosevelt made an executive order establishing Yosemite as a National Park.