The South County Historical Society’s production of “Dune Child” by Ella Thorp Ellis opened Saturday, Aug. 5.
The production — part of the society’s Summer Historic Theatre program — is the semi-autobiographical story of Ellis, who grew up as the only child living with the Dunites on the Oceano Dunes during the Great Depression.
The Dunites were a group of hermits, artists, intellectuals and mystics who made the miles of shifting sand their sanctuary.
They came to the area for many reasons — some wanted to live far from the growing bustle of the nation’s cities, while others were forced into the lifestyle by the Great Depression and a lack of options. They lived in driftwood shacks nestled among the dunes, preaching a Utopian lifestyle and surviving on the Pismo clams that then pockmarked the beaches.
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The free play will be held every Saturday through Aug. 26 at the IOOF Hall, 128 Bridge St. in Arroyo Grande. Curtain is at 2 p.m.