NEW PHILADELPHIA  Often when thinking of "things to do," we think of traveling away from home and miss out on the exciting things to do in our own backyards.

That is what I did with "Trumpet in the Land," an outdoor theater production that has been around for quite a few years. It is a destination I always wanted to take in, but I had that "I didn't do it this year, but it is close and I will get there next year," thought process.

After many years of that thought process - next year was finally here.

"Trumpet in the Land" performed at the Schoenbrunn Amphitheater first opened in 1970. The play offers visitors an exciting visual look at some of Ohio's most important history. It is a perfect "thing to do" for students going into the fourth or fifth grade that will study or have studied Ohio History. It is a great show for any age, although it is suggested for those nearing 10 years old. The story comes alive with fires, guns, costumes, pyrotechnics, horses and even some beautiful music. Keep your eyes open, you never know where someone will show up and just maybe come from behind. 

Trumpet in the Land was written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paul Green. The play is more than a story, it is an experience.  The Revolutionary War story takes place in the same hills where the theater is located. The story depicts the events that happened in the founding of Schoenbrunn, Ohio's first settlement.

Schoenbrunn Village is where visitors should begin their visit to the New Philadelphia area. The settlement was founded in 1772 and was a Moravian mission where the Christians lived peacefully with the Delaware Indians along the Tuscarawas River. Those in the village were forced to leave in 1777.  "Trumpet in the Land" follows those first settlers through the time the Moravian's came to Ohio from Bethlehem, Pa., and settled in Schoenbrunn. The story continues telling of their struggles of being in the middle with the British at Fort Detroit and the Americans at Fort Pitt. The Moravian's would not take sides and were forced to leave Schoenbrunn and travel to Gnadenhutten where the massacre of Christian Indians took place. 

Walking throughout the village and taking in the video and museum takes an hour or two. A suggestion would be to plan to visit the village before attending the outdoor drama.

Schoenbrunn Village is located at 1984 E. High Avenue in New Philadelphia. For more information, call 800-752-2711 or visit www.ohiohistory.org or www.dennisondepot.org. The cost is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children 7 to 17 and children 6 and under are free. 

Continue on the path and visit Gnadenhutten Park and Museum. It is where the Gnadenhutten Massacre took place that is portrayed in "Trumpet in the Land." There is a memorial there and a burial mound and museum. The park and museum are at 352 South Cherry Street. For more information, call 740-254-4143 or email gnadmuse@gnaden.com. It is free and open daily.

The Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre is located 1600 Trumpet Drive NE in New Philadelphia. For more information, call 330-339-1132 or visit www.trumpetintheland.com. The cost is $20 for adults, $18 for students ages 13-17 and seniors and $10 for children ages 2-12.