Potter’s Hand Productions

Christian Community Theatre


Sedona, Arizona

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Sedona Schnebly’s rich life.  What was it all about? Of course there is a breathtaking city named for her. But what’s the rest of the story...?
The production of the historical musical, Steppin’ at the Wayside, brought this amazing and resilient woman to life.  The story line was about her family and another pioneer family who settled in Oak Creek Canyon in the 1890’s.  Directed by Jane Alden (“Godspell” and “Pilgrimage to Bethlehem”), this multi-media musical shed light on the fascinating details and memories of these colorful pioneer families. Inspired by the treasured writings of one of the Purtymun’s youngest family members, Charley, and also by the account of Sedona Schnebly’s life, as told by her grandchildren, Jane was pleased and honored to bring Sedona’s rich heritage to life.  Within the story there were tales of comfort and hardship,  joy and woe, and quaint tales of a rural life.
This production was a wonderful showcase for the charming details of these family stories.  One favorite tale of the Purtymun’s was what came to be known as the “Cat Hair Incident”. This wonderful tale was humorously portrayed in Act 1 by Charley and his siblings.
There were other stories too, shocking in their vivid recollection of seemingly incomprehensible hardship. You will understand the family’s endurance when they survived a winter in Oak Creek Canyon in a windowless one-room cabin, with no door and only a curtain to keep out the 4 feet of snow. That survival of the Purtymun family in their early days in Oak Creek Canyon would be considered a miracle by today’s standards.
Act 2 featured the lives of Sedona Schnebly and her family. The scene opened as she, her husband and children arrive in Jerome. The family went on to settle at the Owenby Ranch, the area now known as Tlaquepaque.
In the ensuing scenes we learned invaluable details, such as how the city became known as Sedona, and how the Schneblys established the area as a destination. We observed Sedona at her best, opening her heart and home to many visitors.  The production continued with the Schneblys through the early 1950’s, and concluded with the death of Sedona Schnebly.
There were entertaining and innovative features in the production and something to be enjoyed by all ages. The Children’s Theater was featured in a video segment that interacted with the live troupe of actors. Historical slides of rarely scene footage were used as backdrops.
Perhaps best of all was the delightful live music which goes from toe-tapping fun to intimate songs of hope and expectation that touched the heart.

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Steppin’ at the Wayside

A previous production (2004-2008), performed at 
Historic Wayside Chapel
401 N. Highway 89A, Uptown Sedona
Wayside Chapel, uptown Sedona, in the 1950s. 
Photo courtesy of Sedona Historical Society.
Sedona and T.C. Schnebly @1950
Photo courtesy of Sedona Historical Society.

Pilgrimage to Bethlehem

Journey to Jerusalem

Cast of Steppin’ at the Wayside
Steppin’ photos courtesy of Loren Hedrick, except where noted.
Chatting with visitors at the Schnebly Ranch

The Christmas Gift