Paint Your Wagon


Writers: Alan Jay Lerner Frederick Loewe


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
California Wilderness, 1853
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
Star Vehicle Male, Star Vehicle Female, Regional Theatre, Professional Theatre, Mostly Male Cast, Large Cast, Ensemble Cast, Community Theatre, College/University
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, early teen, late teen, young adult characters


This Lerner and Loewe classic tells the story of the rise and fall of an isolated town at the height of the California Gold Rush. After years of searching for gold out West, Ben Rumson and his young daughter, Jennifer, strike it rich. At the burial service of another miner, Jennifer discovers a gold nugget and Rumson Town is born. Word of the strike spreads fast and soon Rumson Town is overflowing with 400 men, hoping to strike gold. Meanwhile, Jennifer falls in love with a young Mexican prospector, Julio Valveras. Accustomed to the complete lack of female presence in town, the men feel uncomfortable with Jennifer's presence and demand Ben sends her back East to school. Tensions rise even further when a Mormon miner and his two wives come to town. When Jennifer returns back to the town unexpectedly, she discovers that Rumson Town has become a ghost town and Julio is gone. With determination and bravery, Jennifer seeks out Julio and is finally reunited with the man she loves. Filled with passion, greed, and a clash of cultures, Paint Your Wagon is a story of the wild West and the search for the American Dream. Featuring songs such as "I Talk to the Trees", "How Can I Wait", and the run-away hit, "They Call The Wind Maria", Paint Your Wagon is an American classic.

Lead Characters

Paint Your Wagon guide sections