Page 7 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Summer 2021 - Online Magazine
P. 7


            canyon was too sparsely populated
            to support a musical production of
            the scale and grandeur that Green
            had become notable for producing
            were solved with one idea: make
            TEXAS a top attraction.

            As interest in the prospect of an
            outdoor theater began to grow, a
            small group of Canyon families
            funded Paul Green’s first trip to
            the Panhandle later that year. Mr.
            Green immediately dedicated
            himself to the project of bringing
            the history of the High Plains to the
            stage. The support organization
            eventually expanded to include
            Amarillo and all the surrounding
            area. The first ever season of     TEXAS Outdoor Musical worked       August 12th, five members of the
            TEXAS Outdoor Musical took place   beautifully. People from all over   musical were tragically lost in a
            in 1966, with the help of students   Texas and the U.S. alike were    car accident. Amanda Starz, Eric
            and faculty of West Texas State    flocking by the thousands to       Harrison, Andrew Duncan, Clint
            College (now known as West Texas   witness the grandiose performance   Diaz, and Julian Arredondo were
            A&M University). Green’s artistry   for themselves. In the 70s and 80s,   travelling back to Amarillo from
            and genius has made an incredible   TEXAS was drawing its largest     a cast party just before midnight
            impact on our community. This      crowds on record, with over        when their car struck a trailer,
            was proven in 2003, when there     100,000 people heading down        and they were killed. This was a
            was an attempt to replace Green’s   into the canyon to the Pioneer    devastating loss to the company
            script with one written by another   Amphitheater each summer.        of TEXAS and the Panhandle
            author. The backlash from the      Today, TEXAS Outdoor Musical is    Plains Heritage Foundation, and
            community for straying from what   considered a top tourist draw in   the August 13th performance
            Green originally wrote in 1960     the Panhandle and, according to a   of TEXAS Outdoor Musical was
            brought about the quick decision   2009 study, brings in roughly $1.7   cancelled in light of the horrific
            to return to the original script just   million in revenue every summer.  tragedy. Though plagued by their
            three years later in 2006.                                            grief, those who knew these five
                                               The summer of 2013 marked one      members would say that they
            Harper’s plan to increase tourism   of the most devastating seasons   would have wanted the show to
            to Palo Duro Canyon through        for TEXAS Outdoor Musical. On

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