World War II will still be the primary theme, only through a different voice, as a cancellation forced the Museum on Main to change its September installment of the Ed Kinney Speaker Series.
"An Afternoon or Evening with Ernie Pyle", featuring scholar-actor Doug Mishler portraying the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and war correspondent, is replacing the originally scheduled Winston Churchill performance by Kevin Radaker that was called off for medical reasons, the museum recently announced.
"Pyle's news articles were full of the pathos, joy, and struggle of everyday life that marked America between 1927 and 1945," Mishler said in a statement through the museum. "He used a unique reporting style to create vivid columns, glimpsing great and common events but always through the lives of ordinary people."
"His powerful and gritty 'bottom-up' style deftly illuminated the American character under the duress of the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and a World War," Mishler added. "Pyle perfectly chronicled the everyday life of his time, as no one else did. While other writers offered a wide-angle view of history, Pyle offered a stunningly brutal close-up."
Mishler is a recognizable performer in the Chautauquan style, in which actors embody the historical figure onstage before answering audience questions out of character at the end, having just appeared in the museum's series last month as aviator Chuck Yeager.
"The Chuck Yeager evening performance was close to selling out in August, and attendees raved about Mishler's comedic monologue as the fearless pilot who broke the sound barrier. We are thrilled to welcome Mishler back so soon as the equally interesting Ernie Pyle," said Rachel Brickell, director of education for the series.
"For those interested in WWII, this performance is a great alternative to seeing Winston Churchill," she added.
Mishler will perform as Pyle at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Firehouse Arts Center in downtown Pleasanton. An online version via the webinar platform BigMarker is set for Sept. 26.
Tickets are on sale now. Anyone who bought seats for the Churchill show and doesn't want to attend the Pyle alternative can contact the museum – otherwise, the Churchill ticket is redeemable for the Pyle show.
Go to www.museumonmain.org or call 925-462-2766.