The Story of The Donner Party

It's the spring of 1846, and hundreds of people have made the choice to leave behind their homes, their friends, their lives… to cross an uncharted continent in search of new lives in the California territory. Inspired by actual historyThe Donner Party tells the story of 16 of those people. They have a variety of reasons for going, but they are all just plain folks with a dream of something better.

Together, they ford flooded rivers, trudge across prairies, hack trails through overgrown canyons, struggle across barren deserts, and scramble up steep mountain peaks.  Along the way they find the worst of human nature and the worst of nature's elements. There is jealousy, anger, fear, stupidity, pride, ... death, despair, starvation, and even – unspeakably – cannibalism. But they also find joy, optimism, faith, love, determination, and triumph. In dire circumstances, these sixteen people are just trying to do their best along the road of life.

Who among them will survive the ordeal and make it to California? 


Note: the images on this page are not photos of the actual people of the Donner Party, but are included as a representation of the characters of the musical. Click here to learn more about the history of the Donner Party expedition.