Chautauqua of John Steinbeck and star party planned at Dangberg Historic Park

Tom Lorentzen will portray American author John Steinbeck on June 13 at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden.

Tom Lorentzen will portray American author John Steinbeck on June 13 at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park in Minden.

MINDEN, Nev.— Chautauquan Tom Lorentzen will portray American author John Steinbeck at 6:30 p.m., followed by stargazing with the Astronomical Society of Nevada at 9 p.m., on Wednesday, June 13, at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park.

John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1962. Among his classic works are The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden and Of Mice and Men. The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his death. Although most recognized for his fiction, Steinbeck also wrote non-fiction.

In this presentation, John Steinbeck returns to life through the power of modern technology to reflect upon his life and writings, as well as what has happened in the 50 years since his death. Steinbeck’s focus is on his last two books (both non-fiction), Travels with Charley, In Search of America and America and Americans.

Tom Lorentzen has performed as John Steinbeck before several audiences in California. Lorentzen is a former member of the National Board to the Institute of Museum & Library Services, as well as a former longtime resident of Nevada. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and presently serves on the National Advisory Committee to the Eisenhower Memorial Commission in Washington, D.C.

“Mr. Lorentzen has truly captured the spirit of John Steinbeck and presents him with great passion and vision,” said the park’s events manager, Kim Harris.

The cost for the Chautauqua event is $5 for adults, free for members and for 16 years and younger.

Beginning at 9 p.m. the Astronomical Society of Nevada will host a “Star Party” with telescope viewing. The evening will begin with a brief introduction and a lesson on using a telescope. The ASN will make their telescopes available for the public to look into, but everyone is welcome to bring their own.

Visitors are encouraged to bring bug repellent, a flashlight with a red lens (no white light please), and a blanket or lawn chair. This event is open to the public and free to attend.

These events are part of the park’s Dangberg Summer Festival and are sponsored by Douglas County, Carson Valley Accounting, Full Circle Soils & Compost, Horse Tales Publications, Dr. James the Dentist, Bently Ranch, Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. This event is also made possible with the assistance of Nevada Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The full Dangberg Summer Festival event schedule is available at

These are outdoor events, and visitors should bring their own seating. Please no dogs, legitimate service animals only. The park is located at 1450 Highway 88, 1/4 of a mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Upcoming Chautauquans for this season include The Douglas County Historical Society’s “Young Chautauquans” on June 27; Doug Mishler will portray “Circus Showman P.T. Barnum” on July 11; and Larry Lippmann will portray “Stagecoach Robber Black Bart” on July 18.


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