On the road again

By Linda Elissalde
After the devastation of Hurricane IKE, we lost friends, businesses, homes, and felt we had lost our community. That is when the spirit of Jane Long surfaced to tell us – She survived desertion, Indian attacks, and the terrible winter of 1821 on Bolivar Peninsula – and thrived. We survived, and like The Mother of Texas Jane Wilkinson Long, we could also survive – and thrive. Margo Johnson and Anne Willis (The Spirit of Jane Long) thought that a gathering with a little show about Jane accompanied by hot dogs and cold drinks might encourage local Bolivar Peninsula residents. A Jane Long Society was formed as a part of Bolivar Peninsula Cultural Foundation. That little show turned into THE JANE LONG FESTIVAL beginning in October, 2010. For 7 years visitors watched different versions of the Jane Long play. Jane’s picture is now displayed in Texas capital’s library, HWY 87 is Jane Long Memorial Highway, and Fort Travis is home to The Jane Long Pavilion. While the festival is no more, the spirit of Mrs. Long lives on in various productions.

The Way Off Broadway Ensemble Players took to the road to perform variations of their show for The Jean LaFitte Society in Galveston, The Daughters of the Texas Revolution at The Log Cabin in Houston and Celebration of Jane Long at Ft. Travis. They were invited to present at the 2020 state convention of The Daughters of the Texas Revolution. Covid cancelled that venue. Costumes and props were packed away. However, Jane was not through.

Cast members enjoy being at Carolyn and Dan Akers’ beautiful home at Tapatio in Boerne, Texas

Former Bolivar residents Margo Johnson and Carolyn Akers live at Tapatio in Boerne, Texas. They belong to Tapatio Ladies Club. Margo and Carolyn decided that members might like to know more about The Mother of Texas who was an example of bravery on the Bolivar Peninsula and helped Texans in their war to gain freedom from Mexico. Margo connected with Way Off Broadway Ensemble Players. After some persuasion, Writer, Director and Producer Linda C Elissalde agreed to compose a new Jane Long presentation. First of all Dr. Melanie Wallace (Jane Long) and Mack Wallace (Sign Man) had to be available. They would come from Ovilla, Texas to Tapatio. Sherry Morgan, Marsha and Moody Fredenburg, Marcel Elissalde, Raquel Silverberg and Linda packed the stored clothing and props.

Way Off Broadway Ensemble Players are ready to perform in THe SORT OF/KINDA TRUE STORY OF JANE LONG MOTHER OF TEXAS.

Everyone met up at Tapatio on May 16 to rehearse. It did not look too promising. By the next day, with help from the wonderful Tapatio staff, all went perfectly. Ellen Kennedy and Robert Fridge who moved to Bandera drove over. The charming Tapatio Ladies Club members were a wonderful audience. They laughed and applauded lustily. Way Off Broadway Ensemble Players were overwhelmed with delight. Where once they thought that Jane Long productions were over, they might just reconsider and head out – ON THE ROAD AGAIN!

Cast left to right: Raquel Silverberg, Kian; Linda C Elissalde, Director; Marcel Elissalde, Captain James Long/Jean LaFitte; Margo Johnson, Little Drummer; Marsha Fredenburg, Stage Director; Moody Fredenburg, Karakawa Chief; Mack Wallace, Sign Man; Dr. Melanie Wallace, Jane Long; Carolyn Akers, Anne Long and Sherry Morgan, HERstorian.

PS: The Way Off Broadway Ensemble Players are grateful to Margo and Carolyn for treating us so well during our stay. They were delightfully charming hostesses. Sincere thanks to Lisa and Hailey for all their help in preparation for our show.

[LCE: May-23-2023]

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One Response to “On the road again”

  1. Carlis Cole says:

    Thank you for keeping Bolivars history alive❤️. Carlis Cole

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