“Come Home to Kanesville,” the award-winning musical, continues the pioneer story westward across Iowa to Winter Quarters.   “Kanesville” is a story of love and faith set against the heart-rending saga of the pioneer experience. “Come Home to Kanesville,” an original song-and-dance musical drawn from eyewitness accounts and diaries, is now in its fifth season.

For the early Latter-day Saints, the trek across the flood plain of Iowa Territory was a six-month journey.  You however, can experience the complete story and attend the “Nauvoo Pageant” one night and “Come Home to Kanesville,” the story of Winter Quarters, the next!

“Kanesville” is performed in the Historic Kanesville Tabernacle, a replica of the original building where Brigham Young was sustained as prophet and second president of the Church.  Nearby, just a fifteen- minute drive across the “Muddy Mo,” is the site of the Winter Quarters Temple.  Here you can walk the hallowed ground of the Pioneer Cemetery and visit the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters.

The account of the trek across Iowa to Winter Quarters is one that inspires and lifts us to be our better selves. “Kanesville” portrays this story powerfully.  After attending the production in 2010, Nebraska Omaha Mission President Milan F. Kunz shared his impressions of the show…

I have seen ‘Phantom of the Opera’, ‘Les Miserable’, ‘Lion King’, ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and several off-Broadway productions, but ‘Come Home to Kanesville’ provided more of a spiritual feeling and power than all of those others combined.

The actors portray such a ‘true to life’ feeling of how their character must have actually felt during those difficult times.  Their lives off stage are representative of the characters they play on stage, making “Kanesville” shine above major Broadway productions.

What does anyone want after an evening attending a play or theatre?  To leave feeling uplifted and inspired to be a better person.  That is exactly what I experienced [and I know others will, too!]  as I attended the “up close and personal” experience of ‘Come Home to Kanesville.’”

Talented actors, singers and dancers gather each year from far and wide to participate in the “Kanesville” experience. This year company members come from some 14 states. For them, it is a treasured lifetime memory. In the words of Travis Walker, “Kanesville’s” director in 2006…

I have very fond memories of the first production of ‘Come Home to Kanesville’.  Not being a member of the LDS church, I gained a greater appreciation for the rich history and the fierce love of the Lord the LDS members have.

The cast I worked with were wonderful people who put their heart and soul into the production.  I have never worked with such dedicated and hard working people.  What they achieved was magical.  The show transcended everybody away from their everyday lives to a world of passionate, strong willed, colorful characters who would sacrifice their lives for the love of God and their family.  Working with this show just reiterated what I have always admired about the Mormon people; the strong devotion to family.

This emphasis on the family unit is something that I feel is easily overlooked in today’s society.  I will always remember the people who gave up countless hours and a lot of sweat to make ‘Come home to Kanesville come to fruition.  Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful story.  I know the love of the Lord will continue to bless this production.  May it continue to touch many more souls.”

Join us any Tuesday through Saturday, the last two weeks of July at the air-conditioned Historic Kanesville Tabernacle, 222 E. Broadway, Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Admission is free, but seating is limited — first Come, first Serve — ages 8 and above.

For more information on the production and the local area visit us at Kanesville.org or contact us at info@kanesville.org.

Join us fer a “jist-cain’t-git-the-music-outta-yer-head, toe-tappin’-good-time!”