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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JAN. 11, 2016
Celebrate National Park Service birthday with 'Teddy Roosevelt' in Yuma
One-man show with Joe Wiegand is set for Jan. 17
As part of its celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is presenting “An Afternoon with Teddy Roosevelt” Jan. 17 at the Historic Yuma Theatre.
The 2 p.m. matinee performance features Joe Wiegand, who began performing as Teddy Roosevelt following a 25-year career in public policy and political campaign work. Since 2004, he’s performed in all 50 states, at TR’s New York City birthplace and at the White House.
Wiegand also has been featured as Roosevelt in “The Men Who Built America” on the History Channel, served as the model for the newest sculpture of TR at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and has a feature role in “Wild America,” a film about America’s national parks that debuts in IMAX theaters this month.
“Spending an afternoon with Teddy Roosevelt is the perfect way to kick off the National Park Service centennial,” said Charles Flynn, Heritage Area executive director. “Though the Park Service actually came into being after he left office, TR paved the way for it by protecting 230 million acres of public land in national forests, bird preserves, parks and monuments. In fact, of the 35 sites that became part of the Park Service in 1916, Roosevelt helped to create 23 of them.
“Here in Yuma, we also have Teddy Roosevelt to thank for the creation of the Reclamation Service and the construction of the Yuma Project, which included the Laguna Dam, the Yuma Siphon and the initial infrastructure that made Yuma bloom in the desert and sustains it as an agricultural powerhouse today,” Flynn added. “In a sense, Yuma owes its modern-day success and prosperity to TR’s vision at the turn of the century.”
Wiegand’s lively one-man show will explore Roosevelt’s extraordinary life as a soldier, politician, explorer, conservationist, scientist, historian, author, Noble Prize Winner, visionary and father and his impact on the nation and Southwest region. As our youngest president, he personified a vigorous nation at the beginning of the American Century and set an example for its citizens, from his own struggles with childhood illness to his firmness in dealing with foreign empires.
“Teddy Roosevelt was never boring guy, as this show will demonstrate,” Flynn promised. “The fellow who advised us to ‘speak softly but carry a big stick’ had a personality made for the ‘bully pulpit’ and I expect that it will fill the every inch of the Historic Yuma Theatre as well.”
Reserved seats for the single show are $20 for main floor and $15 for balcony, and tickets are available at Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main (373-5202); City of Yuma Parks & Recreation, One City Plaza (373-5243); Yuma Civic Center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive (373-5040) or online at YumaShowTickets.com.
"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune." - Theodore Roosevelt
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