Home > Plays > A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas
Co-commissioned by the Coterie Theatre, Kansas City, MO and Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville, TN.

“…a homespun little masterpiece, full of spunky, sensible and often poignant Americana.”
Kevin Nance, The Tennessean

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Description

In their poorest winter ever, when the crops have been devastated by locusts and the family must deal with the death of baby Freddie, Charles Ingalls backtracks his family to Burr Oak, Iowa, to take over the running of a hotel.  And if things weren’t bad enough, Ma tells Laura she must be nice to Johnny Steadman, “the worst boy in Iowa.”  When wealthy Mrs. Starr asks for Laura as a companion to read to her in the afternoons, Laura is overjoyed to be invited into such a fine house, but when she overhears Mrs. Starr offer to adopt Laura as her own daughter to ease the burden of so many children, Laura is certain that Ma and Pa will give her up.  As Christmas morning approaches, Laura is faced with a decision: Will she choose what she believes is best for the family or will she find a way to stay with Pa, Ma, Mary and Carrie?  This original play presents the poignant story of the “missing” two years in the life of the Ingalls family – the only substantial period that Laura chose not to write about in her LITTLE HOUSE books.  The play operates in several worlds:  in the real time actual experiences of Laura and her family, an expressionistic, larger than life child’s perspective, and the portrayal of the inner thoughts of individual characters. Told with period songs, humor and depth of character, A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas tells a story of healing that celebrates the importance of enduring family bonds. 

Copyright 2002
2 men, 5 women
During their poorest winter ever, when the death of their son, Freddie, and the devastating hoards of grasshoppers have forced the Ingalls family to backtrack, Laura overhears wealthy Mrs. Starr ask Ma if she can adopt Laura as her own. Will Laura face life without Ma, Pa, Mary and Carrie? This original play, based on actual events in Laura’s life, shares the little known chapter of the Ingalls family in Burr Oak, Iowa, and Laura’s discovery of the true meaning of enduring family bonds.