The Eagle has landed
'Weird. And funny' Groth stages final installment in Scout saga

The Eagle has landed
Missy Votel - 11/23/2023

Forget “Hunger Games,” “Trolls” and “Marvel.” The sequel everyone in Durango’s been waiting for is here. “Eagle Scout 2: The Spoils of Victory” will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m. this Sun., Nov. 26, at The Space/Rodeo Odyssey, at 1437 E. 2nd Ave.

The one-act play is the work of local creative extraordinaire Dan Groth, who first staged “Eagle Scout 1” more than 20 years ago at the now defunct Buzz House Café, where he worked. The play is set in the somewhat fictional “Tenderfoot Café” and features Groth, an Eagle Scout, in full regalia.

Groth said he and his best friend, Aaron Shipps, were both Eagle Scouts. The idea for the play was the result off an offhand remark from another friend who suggested they do a play on their experience, and “Eagle Scout: A One-Act Play” was born. “From there, it sort of wrote itself,” Groth said.

However, when the time came for the first performance, Shipps was MIA somewhere in the deserts of Utah. Let’s just say he was partaking in some decidedly un-Eagle Scout like extracurriculars, and Groth was forced to man, er, Scout, up on his own. 

“I did a pretty good job for winging it,” said Groth, whose only props were a mixed tape and a boom box.

Over the ensuing years, Groth performed the play again, in 2014, at Animas Trading Co., which one attendee described as: “Weird. And funny. Sort of a cross between Andy Kaufman and Chris Elliott.” 

For the latest chapter in the saga – which by some counts is No. 3, but who’s counting? – Groth has employed the help of two castmates (one who’s a REAL actress!) and learned a thing or two about lighting. He’s also had five years to polish it up, since he wrote it before getting sidelined by the pandemic. He said he hadn’t given it much thought until he attended opening night at The Space a few weeks back and the wheels started turning.

“I thought, ‘This is really cool. I could do “Eagle Scout” here,’” he said.

Groth said this time, he has “really thought things out” but added the show will be “no frills.” Except for the Eagle Scout uniform, which he still has and is worth the price of admission alone ($5 suggested.)

“Everyone gets a kick out of seeing me in my Eagle Scout uniform,” said Groth, adding that it still fits, albeit a bit more snug. “I don’t have the pants, though. But those definitely wouldn’t fit.”