Museum on Main announces 2019 historical speaker series lineup

Performances to include King Henry VIII, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Burns

Betty Slater as Bessie Coleman. (Photo courtesy of Museum on Main)

The Museum on Main's popular speaker series is returning again this year, with a slate of performances dubbed "An Afternoon or Evening with ..." historical characters being held at the Firehouse Arts Center and the Amador Theater.

"We have an exciting lineup for 2019," said Sarah Schaefer, the museum's director of education and coordinator for the speaker series, "including Chautauqua actors portraying famous historical individuals such as England's King Henry VIII, aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, Winston Churchill, President Harry S. Truman, famed artist Pablo Picasso, beloved entertainer George Burns and many more."

This will be the 10th year of the monthly Ed Kinney Speaker Series, and more than 4,264 people attended in 2018.

"This community continues to embrace the performance style known as Chautauqua," Schaefer said. "Actors bring historical characters out of the book or Wikipedia page and on to the stage providing the audience with a monologue as a historical character and then answering the audiences' questions as the character."

"We often hear that this is the hottest ticket in town and the most affordable, so it was no surprise many shows sell out," she added.

For the 2019 season, matinees have been added for nine performances. Each month except July will have shows at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. The museum is also continuing its policy to provide advance ticket sales to members of Museum on Main.

"With so much demand, we felt it was only fair to provide tickets to museum members first," Schaefer said.

Tickets are $20 general admission; $15 seniors/students; $10 members. Purchase online at, at Museum on Main, 603 Main St., during regular operating hours or by phoning the museum at 462-2766.

2019 speakers

* Jan. 15: John Steinbeck, portrayed by Tom Lorentzen

* Feb. 12: Bessie Coleman, by Betty Slater

* March 5: Eleanor Roosevelt, by Susan Marie Frontczak

* April 9: Harry S. Truman, by Peter Small

* May 21: King Henry VIII, by Frank Mullen

* June 11: Nathaniel Hawthorne, by Rob Velella

* July 9: Winston Churchill, by Kevin Radaker

* Aug. 13: Pablo Picasso, by Doug Mishler

* Sept. 24: William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame), by Hal Stearns

* Oct. 15: George Burns, by Duffy Hudson.

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