How did Allan Affeldt’s work in the International Peace Walk influence his efforts to save La Posada? What surrealistic dreams led Artist Tina Mion to paint the portraits in her studio at La Posada? How were the lost blueprints of La Posada found, just in time to save the hotel? Why is Hotel Manager Dan Lutzick always so angry? These questions and more were answered in the world premiere of “La Posada the Play,” which opened on 10/6/2023 at the Elk’s Theater in Prescott Arizona!
The Play’s Origins
According to the playbill notes, while researching her play Fred and Mary: An Unconventional Romance, playwright Micki Shelton learned of Allan and TIna’s purchase of La Posada Hotel.
Like Allan, Micki was involved in the 1980s Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. When she read how Allan met TIna during the 1987 Soviet Walk, she became intrigued with the idea of telling their story, threaded with the story of La Posada, Fred Harvey, and Mary Colter. In 2018, Micki began writing the play, about why and how a peace activist and a painter (along with sculptor Dan Lutzick) turned their talents to restoring a work of architectural history.
This is a story based in history. Allan and Dan are creating the future’s history–if that makes sense. Tina, in her paintings, comments on history. But we are all a part of the march of time. By presenting this play, I hope we can turn the tide of history by reclaiming some of the innocence of earlier decades and working together in the deep-rooted belief that our actions make a difference.”Playwright, Micki Shelton
On September 5th, the cast and crew–along with playwright Micki Shelton and Director Kate Hawkes–visted La Posada to get a feel for things, learn a little about the renovation of the hotel, and collect props for the staging of the play. La Posada provided art, images, and furnishings from the hotel to help complete the set. Dan Lutzick gave them a tour of La Posada, Affeldt Mion Museum, and his own Snowdrift Art Space. He even got to meet his double. Dan, meet Dan.
So what was the play like? Here’s a review from our friends from:
The Fred Harvey/Mary Colter Fan Club
“This past weekend I traveled to Prescott Arizona to see the final performance of La Posada-The Stage Play. Ben Gorman played Allan Affeldt and nailed it. I have heard stories from Dan Lutzick, Allan, Tina Mion and Marie LaMar (who was instrumental in helping Allan in acquiring the hotel and more) over the years. The play highlighted many of the challenges.
Now for a little insider info. There was a character named Brenda who worked for the Santa Fe Railway and was in Winslow to help with the transfer to the BNSF transition. She walked into La Posada and they decided to put her up in a room for the night. I confirmed with Brenda Pooker Thowe this was her and she said yes. This is what Brenda told me this morning:
“We got to stay free in the Charles Lindberg room where he spent his honeymoon. I stayed awake all night looking out the windows, pinching myself that I got to stay here.”
La Posada Hotel causes this reaction for so many of us. It was wonderful to see the play with some of my dearest friends and followers of the page. Sadly we have no group picture. It was a great afternoon with Margaret Terry, Elizabeth Ware, David Edgecombe, Mary Colter (as she is known on Facebook) and Laura McGowan.”
The play ran for just three nights in October. If we hear of another performance, we’ll let you know! Our thanks to Playwright Micki Shelton, Director Kate Hawkes, and all the actors and crew that created “La Posada the Play.”