The Creative Talents

The Creative Talents

After relocating to Mesilla, Fountain had this idea of transforming Mesilla into a cultural oasis. He began discussions of a public library, using his personal library to get it started, improving and extending the public school system, organizing drawing and painting classes and presenting dramatic productions. However, it was during the summer of 1874, that Fountain organized the Mesilla Dramatic Association, rented a vacant building on the northwest corner of the Mesilla Plaza and named the building the Mesilla Opera House. Fountain would design and paint the stage and sets while his wife Marianna, and his girls produced the costumes. The first production, Bombastes Furioso, a burlesque, included Fountain as Bombastes Furioso, a general of the Bosque Guard. The public viewing of Mesilla’s first dramatic production occurred in November of 1884. The production was so well received that the cast received invitations to perform to full houses in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and El Paso. As a result of this overwhelming interest, Fountain and many of the production members formed a more formal and structured organization, the Mesilla Amateur Club. Fountain was elected its first president. (2) The Fountain Theater (which bares his name today), a two story adobe single screen theater originally used for live productions, was constructed by one of his sons in 1905 and is still in operation today.