CASPER, Wyo. — A long-forgotten theatrical gem is returning to the stage in Casper this month. Thanks to a collaboration between local organizations, “The Senator” will come alive at Natrona County High School’s auditorium. The shows are set for Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.
Originally penned by David D. Lloyd and Sydney Rosenfeld, “The Senator” is a fictitious story that follows an elderly man who enlists the charismatic Senator Hannibal Rivers to help him pass a Senate bill for War of 1812 reparations.
With its blend of romance, humor and political drama, the play initially dazzled audiences, racking up 119 performances on Broadway before touring across the country.
Star Power and Historical Authenticity
William H. Crane, a renowned actor of the era, first breathed life into the role of Senator Hannibal Rivers. To prepare, Crane spent weeks observing Kansas Senator Preston B. Plumb. A man celebrated for his integrity and advocacy for “lost causes,” Plumb served in 1865 at Fort Caspar as the Lieutenant Colonel of the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
The Play’s Rediscovery and Contemporary Relevance
Local historian Johanna Wickman unearthed the script while researching her newly published biography of Senator Plumb, aptly titled “The Forgotten Senator.” Her find prompted this revival, which involves partnerships between the Fort Caspar Museum Association, the Theatre of the Poor and Stage III. Director William Conte leads the production, committed to capturing the original’s spirit with lavish sets, period costumes and even living historians mingling in the audience.
If you can’t make it in person, don’t worry. The production team will also livestream the performances. For streaming details, you can visit the Fort Caspar Museum Association’s website.
For further details on “The Senator,” you can reach out to Johanna Wickman at the Fort Caspar Museum Association at 307-258-9035.
If you’re interested in Wickman’s biography “The Forgotten Senator,” you can check it out on Amazon or visit the website.