75 years ago, Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first book in her Little House on the Prairie series. It still has tons of devoted fans and now the stories can be seen live on stage in a new musical. Little House on the Prairie: The Musical follows the Ingalls family’s journey westward to South Dakota where Ma and Pa Ingalls hope to make a better life for their children. But the play itself is on a journey as the performers travel to do shows in different cities across the United States and Canada. Fourteen-year-old Michael Boxleitner plays Willie Oleson in the musical and writes today’s blog post for us describing what life is like for him since he left home (and school!) to tour the country performing in a musical play.
A Day in My Life . . .
I think the best part of my experience being on this on tour is the wonderful cast. You get to make a lot of new friends, many who you normally wouldn’t ever meet in your regular life at home. We get to explore many new places which you may never get to see by just sitting in a school room.
We started our tour in St. Paul, where my cast mate’s dad took us to the airport where the Delta Airline pilots train! Here, I was able to fly a simulated airplane which felt just like the real thing. Amazing! One of my favorite field trips was visiting The Gateway Arch in St. Louis during Thanksgiving time. It was thrilling going to the top and looking down on the city. Another great trip was our trip to Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. I found this trip especially exciting because my dad came with us. We had an interesting tour of the plantation, and my dad gave some facts that the tour guide didn’t even know! Finally, we had a really fun scavenger hunt through the plantation. My classmates and I had to look for various plantation landmarks such as: where is the plantation smokehouse?
One of our more interesting experiences at an airport happened when we were waiting to board the plane and we saw Maroon 5 sitting with everyone else! We were all really excited, ran over and asked them to take our picture. They were very nice!
The hardest part of performing in a musical is trying to remember where you are supposed to be at all times while the show is taking place. But that also just makes it more exciting! I also have to make sure I remember my lines. What is hard in a different way is being so far away from your family and friends while touring the country. However, I know once this is all over, I will miss all the adventures I am having with my cast and friends. You never forget an experience like this!
— Michael Boxleitner, Kid performer in Little House on the Prairie: The Musical
MICHAEL BOXLEITNER is making his professional stage debut in Little House. He would like to thank his friends and family for all their support, especially his voice coaches Eric Vetro and Liz Caplan, and most importantly his Mom, Dad and three amazing older brothers.
Photos courtesy Little House Productions