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2014
A Crisis of Confidence: The War That Changed The World

2014: Karen Vuranch will portray Edith Wharton

Karen Vuranch is a storyteller, actress, historian and writer. Using solid historical research, she creates characters that bring history to life. She has toured internationally with Coal Camp Memories. Based on oral history, it chronicles a woman's experience in the Appalachian coal fields. Homefront is a play based on oral history she collected about women in World War II. Karen also recreates historical figures: author Pearl Buck; labor organizer Mother Jones; humanitarian Clara Barton, and Indian captive Mary Draper Ingles. Grace O'Malley, a 16th century Irish pirate and Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, the First Lady of Food, Julia Child. Her newest character is Hollywood gossip columnist, Louella Parsons. Potluck: Stories and Songs about Women, Wisdom and Food, an innovative show about the contributions of women in a community, is performed with singer/songwriter Julie Adams and poet Colleen Anderson. Karen is also a traditional storyteller and has been performing in communities for over 20 years, and participated in a storytelling exchange to China in 2002.

Karen has served as an Adjunct Faculty at Concord University for the past 18 years, teaching Theatre, Speech and Appalachian Studies. Karen has an undergraduate degree from Ashland University in Theatre and Sociology and a M.A. in Humanities from Marshall University, with a major in American Studies and a minor in Celtic Studies. She has eight publications and has released two CD's of stories and produced a DVD of Coal Camp Memories.

   
2014: Dr. Sally Drucker will portray Emma Goldman

Sally Ann Drucker is delighted to return to Oklahoma as Emma Goldman. She previously participated in Chautauquas here as Betty Friedan and Lucrezia Borgia. Her Chautauqua career started in 1993; for three summers, she toured eight states as feminist-abolitionist Frances Wright, in a NEH-funded "Democracy in America" Chautauqua. She's also presented Rosie the Riveter and her other figures at various Chautauquas, museums, libraries, schools, and community centers. When not performing, Dr. Drucker is a Professor in the Dept. of English at Nassau Community College, New York. Her Ph.D. is from SUNY-Buffalo.

   
2014: Dr. John Anderson will portray Henry James

John Dennis Anderson, a performance studies scholar and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College, performs nationally in his one-person shows as authors Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Lynn Riggs, and Robert Frost. He has participated in four previous Oklahoma Chautauquas. Anderson focuses his research in the area of narrative theory and performance. He is the author of The Student Companion to William Faulkner (Greenwood, 2007). Dr. Anderson is a former Chair of the Performance Studies Division of the National Communication Association. For more information, visit his website at jdanderson.org.

   
2014: Dr. Paul Vickery will portray Woodrow Wilson

The author of three books, Paul S. Vickery has been a Professor of History at Oral Roberts University for the past 23 years. In addition to teaching U.S. and Latin American History, Vickery, a former counter-intelligence officer, regularly gives lectures on cruise ships around the Mediterranean and Caribbean. He has also participated in Chautauquas around the country bringing to life such characters as H.L. Mencken, Sen. Joe McCarthy, Henry Ford, Marquis James and Bishop Francis Asbury. A founding member of the History Alive Program he performed these characters to more than 50 public schools around Oklahoma and Kansas. Married 47 years, he and his wife have 4 grown children.

   
2014: Dr. Doug Mishler will portray Teddy Roosevelt

Over the last twenty years Doug has become nationally recognized for bringing "history to life." In addition to his latest characters Jack Warner and D. W. Griffith, or his first P. T. Barnum, Doug has presented Theodore Roosevelt, General Stonewall Jackson and 14 other historical figures all over the country. The voices in his head keep him busy but when he is not on the road he is either directing or acting in plays or teaching American history at the University of Nevada. Like his idol Theodore Roosevelt, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job" - but later!

 

2013
Anything Goes: America in the 1920s

2013: Dr. Doug Watson will portray Will Rogers

Doug Watson is a retired professor of literature and the humanities, named in 2010 to the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, after more than thirty-five years in the college classroom. He has been involved with historical characterization since 1991 and has presented versions of his Will Rogers character often since 1997. He and his wife, a retired public school English teacher, live in Shawnee. They have one daughter, one granddaughter, and several cats. Doug enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, and travel, but is perhaps happiest on the golf course.

   
2013: Dr. Doug Mishler will portray Henry Ford

Over the last twenty years Doug has become nationally recognized for bringing "history to life." In addition to his latest characters Jack Warner and D. W. Griffith, or his first P. T. Barnum, Doug has presented Theodore Roosevelt, General Stonewall Jackson and 14 other historical figures all over the country. The voices in his head keep him busy but when he is not on the road he is either directing or acting in plays or teaching American history at the University of Nevada. Like his idol Theodore Roosevelt, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job" - but later!

   
2013: Ilene Evans will portray Bessie Coleman

Ilene Evans is an inventive storyteller weaving music, dance, and drama, to bring history alive. Ms. Evans creates educational theater programs and workshops that span a vast range of arts and humanities as artistic director of Voices from the Earth. She has toured internationally with her historical and original works including Harvest of Dreams, General Moses, and Building Bridges. Ms. Evans portrays other significant women of color who changed the world: Carrie Williams, Coralie Franklin Cook, Memphis Tennessee Garrison and now, Ethel Waters. Ms. Evans received her B.A. from Trinity College Deerfield and her M.A. at East Tennessee State University.

   
2013: Gene Worthington will portray Babe Ruth

Retired educator Gene Worthington is a scholar/actor, performing American and Appalachian history throughout several states. His lifelong love of baseball led him to create the character, "Babe" Ruth. Gene has performed as Babe Ruth, frontiersman Simon Kenton, and Theodore Roosevelt for Ohio Chautauqua and has performed as dynamic labor leader John L. Lewis, as well as Babe Ruth, for the West Virginia Humanities Council. In addition to performing, Worthington currently serves as Artistic Director for the Historic Fayette Theatre in Fayetteville, West Virginia. He has directed several award winning productions on the state and regional level.

   
2013: Debra Conner will portray Zelda Fitzgerald

Debra Conner began portraying Emily Dickinson in 1997, thanks to a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since then, she has added in-character portrayals of other notable women to her program offerings. Those include Margaret Mitchell and Civil War surgeon, Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Debra also conducts workshops and residencies in creative writing through the WV Arts Commission and the Ohio Arts Council. She has published essays and poetry in a variety of publications. When not writing or performing, she enjoys horseback riding and competing with her dog in agility trials.

2012
Behind the Screen: Hollywood's Impact on American Culture

2012: John Anderson will portray William Faulkner

John Dennis Anderson, a performance studies scholar and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College, performs nationally in his one-person shows as authors Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Lynn Riggs, and Robert Frost. He has participated in four previous Oklahoma Chautauquas. Anderson focuses his research in the area of narrative theory and performance. He is the author of The Student Companion to William Faulkner (Greenwood, 2007). Dr. Anderson is a former Chair of the Performance Studies Division of the National Communication Association. For more information, visit his website at jdanderson.org.

   
2012: Ilene Evans will portray Ethel Waters

Ilene Evans is an inventive storyteller weaving music, dance, and drama, to bring history alive. Ms. Evans creates educational theater programs and workshops that span a vast range of arts and humanities as artistic director of Voices from the Earth. She has toured internationally with her historical and original works including Harvest of Dreams, General Moses, and Building Bridges. Ms. Evans portrays other significant women of color who changed the world: Carrie Williams, Coralie Franklin Cook, Memphis Tennessee Garrison and now, Ethel Waters. Ms. Evans received her B.A. from Trinity College Deerfield and her M.A. at East Tennessee State University.

   
2012: Dr. Doug Mishler will portray Jack Warner

Over the last twenty years Doug has become nationally recognized for bringing "history to life." In addition to his latest characters Jack Warner and D. W. Griffith, or his first P. T. Barnum, Doug has presented Theodore Roosevelt, General Stonewall Jackson and 14 other historical figures all over the country. The voices in his head keep him busy but when he is not on the road he is either directing or acting in plays or teaching American history at the University of Nevada. Like his idol Theodore Roosevelt, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job" - but later!

   
2012: Charles Everett Pace will portray Gordon Parks

Charles Everett Pace began performing Chautauqua programs in June 1991 with The Great Plains Chautauqua Society, Inc. His body of work explores how African-American leaders have helped advance democracy in America. Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, and Malcolm X , illustrate successful strategies that black leaders have used to overcome the obstacles of race, caste, class and gender in America. Pace has been on the program staff at The University of Texas at Austin (B.A.) and has taught at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Purdue University (M.A.) and Centre College of Kentucky. Charles Everett Pace lives in Texarkana, Texas, and travels nationally. His website is www.charleseverettepace.com.

   
2012: Dr. William S. "Bill" Worley will portray Bob Hope

Dr. Bill Worley is an experienced Chautauquan who has presented several characters in Oklahoma - Cyrus Avery of Route 66; Oilman & Philanthropist Waite Phillips, Civil War Secretary of State William H. Seward & Hollywood's favorite "animated man," Walt Disney. In "real life," Worley is a full-time Instructor in History & Geography at the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City. He is the author of several books on aspects of Kansas City's regional history. Worley and his wife [Kathryn] of 44 years live in a hundred-year-old neighborhood in Kansas City. They enjoy traveling and renovating.


2011
It's All Make Believe: Hollywood's Golden Age

2011: Joseph Bundy as Paul Robeson

Influential African Americans of the late 19th and 20th centuries come alive through Joseph Bundy's dramatic Chautauqua impersonations. He has been active in West Virginia and the mid-Appalachian region for years as an actor, playwright, and poet. But he is best known for his Chautauqua impersonations of James Weldon Johnson Booker T. Washington, A. Philp Randolph, Jim Europe, and Major Martin R. Delany. He has presented performances and residences for many organizations in West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York. In 2009 he portrayed Booker T. Washington for the Enid, OK Winter Chautauqua and Major Delany.

   
2011: Hank Fincken as W.C. Fields

For more than twenty years, Hank Fincken has toured the U.S. performing his original one-man plays in schools, parks, libraries, festivals, and universities. His characters include Thomas Edison, Johnny Appleseed, Francisco Pizarro, Christopher Columbus, Henry Ford, and an 1849er on The California Trail named J. G. Bruff. He added W.C. Fields in 2010. This will be Hank's fifth Oklahoma CHAUTAUQUA. He has recently performed in Chautauquas in Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado.

A prolific writer, he has authored scores of plays, stories, and essays as well as one book: Three Midwest History Plays and Then Some. Recent highlights include performing as Johnny Appleseed near John's childhood home in Massachusetts; acting as Edison in a Hollywood film for the United States Patent Office; winning the national Pinnacle Award twice for outstanding video conferencing programs; arguing the New York state's case as Prosecutor Richard Crowley against Susan B. Anthony in her birth town (Adams, New Hampshire); performing for the descendents of the '49er character at the international Bruff Family Reunion in Washington D.C., and working with Fields' grandchildren in preparing this summer's program. Hank has special permission to recreate the image and likeness of W.C. Fields, granted by W.C. Fields Productions.

   
2011: Dr. Doug A. Mishler as D.W. Griffith

In the last fifteen years Doug has brought "history to life" in well over one thousand presentations. In addition to his latest character D. W. Griffith and his first P. T. Barnum, Doug has presented Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle, General Stonewall Jackson and 11 other historical figures. The voices in his head keep him busy but when he is not on the road with the boys he finds time to direct and act in theatrical plays, as well as teaching American history at the University of Nevada. He has garnered a national reputation as one of the finest first-person performers. Like his idol Theodore, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job"-but later!

   
2011: Karen Vuranch as Louella Parsons

Karen Vuranch is a storyteller, actress, historian and writer. Using solid historical research, she creates characters that bring history to life. She has toured internationally with Coal Camp Memories. Based on oral history, it chronicles a woman's experience in the Appalachian coal fields. Homefront is a play based on oral history she collected about women in World War II. Karen also recreates historical figures: author Pearl Buck; labor organizer Mother Jones; humanitarian Clara Barton, and Indian captive Mary Draper Ingles. Grace O'Malley, a 16th century Irish pirate and Wild West outlaw Belle Starr, the First Lady of Food, Julia Child. Her newest character is Hollywood gossip columnist, Louella Parsons. Potluck: Stories and Songs about Women, Wisdom and Food, an innovative show about the contributions of women in a community, is performed with singer/songwriter Julie Adams and poet Colleen Anderson. Karen is also a traditional storyteller and has been performing in communities for over 20 years, and participated in a storytelling exchange to China in 2002.

Karen has served as an Adjunct Faculty at Concord University for the past 18 years, teaching Theatre, Speech and Appalachian Studies. Karen has an undergraduate degree from Ashland University in Theatre and Sociology and a M.A. in Humanities from Marshall University, with a major in American Studies and a minor in Celtic Studies. She has eight publications and has released two CD's of stories and produced a DVD of Coal Camp Memories.

   
2011: Dr. William S. Worley as Walt Disney

Dr. William S. Worley is a full-time Instructor of History at Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City-Blue River and an experienced Chautauquan. His historical interests include Missouri and Kansas City history along with that of the various characters he performs. Currently, he regularly takes on the persona of Tom Pendergast, KC political boss; President Harry S. Truman; basketball inventor James Naismith; Jewish compatriot of John Brown in Bleeding Kansas August Bondi, and, of course, Walt Disney.

Worley is a "public historian" in that he attempts to get historical topics out into communities where people can enjoy them, react to them, and even take issue with them. He believes that history is not something to be put on shelf, but to be lived and discussed. Married with three grown sons and three grandchildren, Worley has been a scholar-performer in Chautauquas in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific. This is his 4th visit to Oklahoma Chautauqua, having previously presented as Route 66 co-founder Cyrus Avery, Tulsa oilman & philanthropist Waite Phillips, and as Lincoln's Secretary of State William Henry Seward.

2010
The Wounds of War: A Tale of Two Americas

2010: Joseph Bundy as Major Martin Delany

Joseph Bundy has been active in the arts in West Virginia and the mid-Appalachian region for years. He is an actor, writer and humanities scholar. He is the founder and artistic director of the Afro-Appalachian Performance Company.

Mr. Bundy is best known for his Chautauqua enactments of James Weldon Johnson, Booker T. Washington, Martin R. Delany and A. Philip Randolph and others. He has presented performances and residencies for community groups, schools, colleges, universities, civic organizations and National Parks in West Virginia, Virginia Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, Missouri, Kansas Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York. 2009 he was the guest Chautauqua Scholar for the Enid, Oklahoma Winter Chautauqua portraying Booker T. Washington.

   
2010: Dr. Ted Kachel as Robert Edward Lee

After forty years teaching humanities and theatre at colleges and universities across Midwestern America, Professor Kachel, retired as Head of the Theatre Program at Tulsa Community College. Although retired he still teaches a religion class at TCC using his PhD. studies in Religion and Society from Columbia University (1975).

Much of his work today is touring in first-person performances as William Jennings Bryan, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Sir Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Joseph Mallord William Turner, or H.G. Wells. His practiced acting skills can make "history come alive from inside-out" for audiences, especially when they ask spontaneous questions while he remains "in character."

   
2010: Dr. Doug Mishler as Stonewall Jackson

In the last fifteen years Doug has brought "history to life" in well over one thousand presentations. In addition to Stonewall, Doug has presented P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernie Pyle and 11 other historical figures. The voices in his head keep him busy but when he is not on the road with the boys he finds time to direct and act in theatrical plays, as well as teaching American history at the University of Nevada. He has garnered a national reputation as one of the finest first-person performers. Like his idol Theodore, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job" - but later!

   
2010: Karen Vuranch as Clarissa Harlowe Barton
Scholar Karen Vuranch is well known for her portrayals of women in American history. She has toured internationally with Coal Camp Memories, dramatizing life in the Appalachian coal fields. In addition to Clara Barton, she recreates Nobel prize winning author Pearl Buck; labor organizer Mother Jones; Indian captive Mary Draper Ingles, Civil War soldier and spy Emma Edmonds, Irish pirate Grace O'Malley, Wild West Outlaw Belle Starr and her newest character, the indomitable Julia Child. Karen also performs a WWII play, Homefront and is a traditional storyteller. Her work has been honored by several organizations over the years. She recently received a fellowship from Tamarack, the West Virginia arts center for her life-time achievement in the arts. Karen was also named the 2000 Performing Artist of the Year for Tamarack, the West Virginia state arts center, and received the Spirit of West Virginia Award from the state tourism office, to name a few of her honors.
   
2010: Dr. William Worley as William Seward

A native of eastern New Mexico and resident historian of Kansas City, Missouri, Dr. Worley has written numerous books about Kansas City, the Southwest and the development of the Midwest. He is Instructor of History at Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City-Blue River, and serves as Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

In the world of Chautauqua, Worley has portrayed a wide variety of characters from Harry Truman to railroad restaurateur Fred Harvey, political boss Tom Pendergast, 1920s "goat-gland doctor" John Brinkley and animation and entertainment entrepreneur Walt Disney. He has twice before participated in Oklahoma Chautauqua, first as Tulsa’s own Cyrus Avery on Route 66, and then as oilman and philanthropist Waite Phillips in the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Chautauqua. Worley has presented historic characters in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New Hampshire and Northern Mariana Islands.

2009
Lincoln's Legacy of Equality: Voices on the Fringe

2009: Ilene Evans as Harriet Tubman
Ilene Evans creates educational theater programs that span a vast range of arts disciplines including music, dance, drama, and storytelling. Ms. Evans is an inventive storyteller. She uses movement, music and sound to weave a fabric of delight and understanding. Ms. Evans has taught, lectured, and performed throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Evans received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois and is currently working on her Master's degree in storytelling at East Tennessee State University. She makes her home in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia where she shapes stories and histories to inspire and delight young and old alike.
   
2009: Dr. Michael Hughes as John Ross
Michael Hughes teaches U.S. history, American Indian studies, and Chickasaw culture at East Central University in Ada. He has published numerous articles in Civil War and American Indian history and was the founding editor of the former _Journal of the Indian Wars_. His ancestry is similar to that of Chief John Ross: Scot and Eastern Cherokee (as well as Muskogee and Powhatan). He has performed as ten different Chautauqua characters to date and has presented in fifteen states. His former Chautauqua performances in Oklahoma have been as Alexander Graham Bell, Michelangelo Buonarotti, William Lloyd Garrison, Ernie Pyle, Marshal Bill Tilghman, and Bob Wills. His wife, Eril, is a professor of English at East Central University and an area leader in Habitat for Humanity.
   
2009: Dr. Doug Mishler as Jefferson Davis

In the last fifteen years Doug has brought "history to life" in well over one thousand Chautauqua presentations, and one-man shows. He has performed as P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Ford and the other voices in his head before more than ten thousand people. His "boys" include: activist William Lloyd Garrison, war correspondent Ernie Pyle, explorer Capt. William Clark, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the Reverend Billy Sunday, artist Thomas Hart Benton, and journalist Edward R. Murrow. He recently added the South's only President Jefferson Davis, social novelist Upton Sinclair, and this summer Governor George C. Wallace joined the voices. Over the years he has gained the reputation as one of the finest first-person performers.

After three years working for the government Doug realized that his future was in the classroom and Chautauqua stage not an office. With a Ph.D. in American cultural history, Doug teaches now at University of Nevada when not on the road with his boys. To improve his characters he started in the theatre six years ago and now is addicted having acted in ten plays and just finished directing his seventeenth. Like his idol Theodore Roosevelt he believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a "real job" - later!

   
2009: Charles Pace as Frederick Douglass
Besides being a Program Advisor at The Texas Union, University of Texas at Austin, Charles Everett Pace has taught at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Purdue University, and Centre College of Kentucky. Pace graduated from Texarkana Community College, The University of Texas at Austin (B.A. biology) and Purdue University (M.A. American studies-history/anthropology). A 17 year veteran of The Great Plains Chautauqua, Pace was one of two chautauquans giving the keynote address at the final Presidential debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. Pace has also conducted U. S. Government Public Diplomacy Mission in 25 cities and nine countries across East, West and Southern Africa. He does chautauqua presentations on Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, Langston Hughes and Malcolm X. This provides the background for his latest work in "Creative Leadership Training for Today's Students". Pace is a full time chautauquan living in Texarkana, Texas. Further information: www.charles@charleseverettpace.com
   
2009: Dr. Carroll Peterson as Walt Whitman
Carrol D. Peterson, now Doane College Professor Emeritus, was named a Phi Beta Kappa scholar at the University of Arkansas, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English. Dr. Peterson taught at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, from 1964 to 2001, with intervals studying at Yale, and serving as Visiting Professor of English at Kwassui University in Nagasaki, Japan. He has published essays on Homer, Shakespeare, and several contemporary poets. Dr. Peterson became involved in Chautauqua in 1989, when he joined the Great Plains Chautauqua tours, interpreting the character of Thomas Paine. With the same touring organization, he later began portraying Walt Whitman and Jack London. He has also interpreted James Thurber, and has toured with numerous Chautauqua groups, including ones in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Maryland, and both Carolinas. He has presented his characters in hundreds of performances in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. Since his retirement from teaching, Dr. Peterson has lived on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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