Howard presents a tale of two explorers

Storyteller Lawrence Howard with Lynne Duddy. The pair are the founders of the Portland Story Theater.

DALLAS — When British explorer Robert Falcon Scott led his group to the South Pole in early 1912, they found they weren’t the first.

Scott’s expedition lost the race to the pole by five weeks to Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, but things would get much, much worse for Scott and his men.

Race for the Pole

What: “Polar Opposites: Amundsen, Scott and the Race for the Pole,” story told by Portland Story Theater’s Lawrence Howard.

Where: The Majestic Theater, 956 Main St., Dallas.

When: 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Admission: Free.

For more information: pdxstorytheater.org.

Of note: The show is for those 17 (with parent or guardian) and older. A no-host bar will be open during the performance.

Eleven miles from a cache of supplies, the group froze and starved.

The competition between Scott and Amundsen — and between their respective countries — is the subject of the tale Portland Story Theater’s Lawrence Howard brings to the Majestic Theater Friday night in Dallas.

The two-hour performance, “Polar Opposite: Amundsen, Scott and the Race for the Pole,” weaves together the history of the expeditions — Amundsen’s wonderfully successful and Scott’s horribly tragic — and of the brief golden age of Antarctic exploration.

“Amundsen’s brilliant and glorious victory, being first at the pole, was actually eclipsed, was overshadowed by Scott’s glorious, glorious failure,” Howard said. “To me it’s like a Greek tragedy.”

Howard’s longtime fascination with polar exploration and extensive study of the topic became the basis of Portland Story Theater’s Armchair Adventurer Series. It began with a story about explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Portland Story Theater has been part of Dallas library’s annual Storyteller Festival over the last few years and, through that connection, brought the polar exploration-centric Armchair Adventurer Series to Dallas.

Howard said the tragedy, and bravery shown, in the battle between Amundsen and Scott makes the tale riveting for audience and storyteller alike.

“It’s a little slice of history that has always had a tremendous appeal to me, the courage and the fortitude of these men and the audacity of what it was they were trying to do with the very, very limited technology of the day,” Howard said. “It’s staggering. It’s astonishing.”

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