THE HISTORIC OLD WILL ROGERS LIBRARY, CLAREMORE, OKLAHOMA
The Lynn Riggs Memorial exhibit is located at 121 North Weenonah in the newly renovated Claremore Museum of History. Playwright Lynn Riggs was the author of Green Grow the Lilacs, the play that became the framework for the famous musical OKLAHOMA! The exhibit features a wide variety of photographs taken throughout Riggs's life and his personal audio recordings. Other memorabilia include the original "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and Laurey's honeymoon dress from the musical Oklahoma!
Green Grow the Lilacs, the play written by Lynn Riggs, was originally produced by the Theatre Guild in 1931 and later used by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II as the basis for their musical, OKLAHOMA! When originally produced, Green Grow the Lilacs had a New York run of 64 performances, while its musical adaptation had an original Broadway run of 2,202 performances.
Riggs's first play to receive a New York production was The Big Lake which was presented by the American Laboratory Theatre. As a result, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year in France, where he wrote Green Grow the Lilacs.
Born in Claremore, Oklahoma, August 31, 1899, Riggs studied for three years at the University of Oklahoma. As a youth, he did various jobs including singing in a musical film house. He later moved to New York where he worked as a proofreader and clerked for Macy's Department Store and the American Express Company.
Riggs also wrote such plays as The Lonesome West, The Cream in the Well, Laughter from a Cloud, Russet Mantle ,and Borned in Texas. For more details about this amazing man's life please visit the Lynn Riggs Memorial at the Claremore Museum of History in historic Claremore.