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California State Outdoor Play

Ramona Pageant   Adopted:March 15, 1993

California Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 5

Sentate Concurrent Resolution No. 5


Filed with the Secretary of State March 19, 1993


SCR 5, Kelley. Ramona Pageant.
This measure would designate the Ramona Pageant as the California State Outdoor Play.

WHEREAS, The Ramona Pageant, the longest continuously running outdoor theatrical production in the United States, is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in 1993; and

WHEREAS, Since 1923, The Ramona Pageant Association, Inc., a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, and the citizens of the communities of Hemet and San Jacinto in Riverside County have annually presented this historical drama based on the 1884 Helen Hunt Jackson novel, Ramona, to over two million play attendees; and

WHEREAS, The Ramona Pageant has a cast of nearly 375, the largest cast of any outdoor play in the United States, and is acclaimed for its superb acting, setting, and volunteerism; and

WHEREAS, There have been at least eight other stage plays of Ramona, none of which have survived, five movies made of the story, and a song written about it; and

WHEREAS, The Helen Hunt Jackson book Ramona has never been out of print since it was published in 1884, an exception in novels, and Ramona was required reading in California schools for many years as a tool for teaching the history of the ethnic groups and their contribution to California history; and

WHEREAS, The Pasadena Playhouse is the "State Playhouse" but there is no designated state play; and

WHEREAS, Well-known individuals who have appeared in the Ramona Pageant include Racquel Welch, Anne Archer, Victor Jory, Jean Innes, and Jeff Meek; and

WHEREAS, Garnet Holme, playwright and original director of the Ramona Pageant, was named Pageant Master for our National Parks and also wrote and directed the "Bracebridge Dinner" at Yosemite National Park; and

WHEREAS, Many of the Governors of the State of California have attended and enjoyed this famous event; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Ramona Pageant is hereby designated as the California State Outdoor Play; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the Ramona Pageant Association, Inc.

California State Outdoor Play California State Outdoor Play
Ramona Bowl seating
1936 Brochure
Ramona Bowl
Hemet, California

Source: California State Legislature, California Law, March 15, 2008.
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer. Greenwood Press; 3 Sub edition (October 30, 2001).

Additional Information

Ramona Bowl: Website of the Ramona Bowl amphitheatre, home of the official California outdoor play, Ramona.

Ramona Pageant Images: A group of photographs from the Ramona Pageant in 2005 and 2006 provided by Craig Gillette, a member of U.S. Territorial Marshals-California, a Old-West Reenactment Group Cowboy Action Shooting.

Ramona Bowl from on high: Nice photograph of the Ramona Bowl posted to Flickr by "smoke fire ash".

Ramona, starring Dolores Del Rio
1928's Ramona, starring Dolores Del Rio

Ramona, by Helen Hunt Jackson, Paperback: 340 pages, NuVision Publications (September 30, 2007) Ramona was immensely popular almost immediately upon its release, with over 15,000 copies sold in the ten months before Jackson's death in 1885. Just a year later in 1886, the North American Review called it "unquestionably the best novel yet produced by an American woman" and named it, along with Uncle Tom's Cabin, one of two most ethical novels of the 19th century.

Ramona: by Helen Hunt Jackson. The complete text of Ramona, and other Jackson works, are provided online as part of Project Gutenberg's book catalog. You may read Ramona online or download the complete book in text of Plucker format.

Ramona 11"x17" Reproduction Movie Poster, Reproduction of poster for 1928 movie, starring Dolores Del Rio.

Ramona Lives: How Helen Hunt Jackson's character took on a life of her own from the California Missions Resource Center.

Helen Hunt Jackson: Brief biography of Helen Hunt Jackson from the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in Denver.

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885): Information about Helen Hunt Jackson from Dr. Donna Campbell at Washington State University.

Colorado College Special Collections: Helen Hunt Jackson: Colorado College owns the single largest collection of letters, diaries, photographs, and other materials related to Helen Hunt Jackson, 19th-century novelist and Indian rights activist.

Helen Hunt Jackson by Kate Phillips
Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life
by Kate Phillips

Helen Hunt Jackson: A Literary Life, by Kate Phillips, 408 pages, University of California Press; 1 edition (April 3, 2003) Novelist, travel writer, and essayist Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885) was one of the most successful authors and most passionate intellects of her day. Ralph Waldo Emerson also regarded her as one of America's greatest poets. Today Jackson is best remembered for Ramona, a romantic novel set in the rural Southern Californian Indian and Californio communities of her day. Ramona, continuously in print for over a century, has become a cultural icon, but Jackson's prolific career left us with much more, notably her achievements as a prose writer and her work as an early activist on behalf of Native Americans.

A Century of Dishonor, by Helen Hunt Jackson, 350 pages, Dover Publications (June 9, 2003) This monumental study chronicles the maltreatment of Indians as far back as the American Revolution. Focusing mainly on the Delaware and the Cheyenne, the text reveals a succession of broken treaties, the government's forced removal of tribes from choice lands, and other examples of inhuman treatment of the nation's 300,000 Indians.

Helen Hunt Jackson: Selected Colorado Writings, edited by Mark I. West, 160 pages, Filter Press (December 1, 2002) In this collection, Professor Mark I. West introduces the modern reader to Jackson's travel descriptions, fiction and poetry. These selections were written and published while she lived in Colorado Springs and have as their subject either frontier life in Colorado, or the natural beauty of the area.

A Separate Star: Selected Writings of Helen Hunt Jackson, edited by Michelle Burnham, 320 pages, Heyday Books (March 1, 2008) The complex legacy of a pioneer woman writer and advocate for Native American justice Best known for A Century of Dishonor and Ramona, Helen Hunt Jackson was a widely published writer in the mid-nineteenth century. Her work spanned two decades and ranged from many anonymous pieces of travel writing to poetry, romantic fiction, children s literature, and parenting advice. Ms. Burnham is interested in presenting a portrait of Jackson as a writer whose attitudes and beliefs on an array of subjects influenced her times. Her work is still compelling and clearly part of the long road to change that we are on today.



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