Speaker Series An Afternoon or Evening With

Museum on Main announces performers and speakers for the highly anticipated 2019 Ed Kinney Speaker Series An Afternoon or Evening With… at the Firehouse Arts Center and Amador Theater beginning in January.

“People have been clamoring to find out who will be visiting Pleasanton for the 2019 Speaker Series,” says Director of Education for Museum on Main and the coordinator for the speaker series, Sarah Schaefer. “We have an exciting line-up for 2019, including Chautauqua actors portraying famous historical individuals such as England’s King Henry VIII, aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman, WWII Winston Churchill, President Harry S. Truman, famed artist Pablo Picasso, beloved entertainer George Burns and many more.”

For the 2019 season, matinees have been added for nine performances. For these dates, there will be an Afternoon with… performance at 2:00 pm and an Evening with… performance at 7:00 pm. These shows will be at the Firehouse Arts Center. In the month of July, there will be no matinee, as the July performance will be at the larger Amador Theater where 550 people can be accommodated for one 7:00 pm Evening with… performance.


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The 2019 An Afternoon or Evening With… Schedule: An Afternoon or Evening with… John Steinbeck Tuesday, January 15th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm (7:00 pm Show Sold Out) Firehouse Arts Center Nobel Prize recipient John Steinbeck wrote many classic works that have been woven into the American literary canon. Steinbeck will return to reflect upon his life and writings, as well as what has happened since his death. Steinbeck’s focus will be on his last two books, both non- fiction: Travels with Charley in Search of America and America and Americans. John Steinbeck will be portrayed by scholar Tom Lorentzen.


An Afternoon or Evening with… Bessie Coleman: Tuesday, February 12th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm Firehouse Arts Center Bessie Coleman was an American aviator in a time when female pilots were extremely rare. In 1921 she became the first woman of both African American and Native American descent to earn an international pilots license. She became a successful airshow pilot in the United States and dreamed of starting a school for African-American fliers. Bessie Coleman will be portrayed by actress Betty Slater.


An Afternoon or Evening with… Eleanor Roosevelt: Tuesday, March 5th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm (7:00 pm Show Sold Out) Firehouse Arts Center War is always a controversial topic, but for Eleanor Roosevelt, during World War II the stakes were very high. She had to navigate between her ideals for peace, and her role as the First Lady of a country embroiled in the largest war the planet had ever seen. Eleanor Roosevelt will be portrayed by Chautauqua scholar and actress Susan Marie Frontczak.


An Afternoon or Evening with… Harry S. Truman: Tuesday, April 9th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm (7:00 pm Show Sold Out) Firehouse Arts Center During his few weeks as Vice President, Harry Truman scarcely saw President Franklin Roosevelt and received no briefing on the development of the atomic bomb or the unfolding difficulties with Soviet Russia. Suddenly these and a host of other wartime problems became Truman’s to solve when he became America’s 33rd President. Truman will be portrayed by actor Peter Small.


An Afternoon or Evening with… King Henry VIII: Tuesday, May 21st, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm (7:00 pm Show Sold Out) Firehouse Arts Center Once described as one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne, King Henry VIII is known in modern times for his six marriages and his role in the separation of the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. Professor, author, historian, and Chautauqua Frank Mullen. will be reprising his role as King Henry VIII.


An Afternoon or Evening with… Nathaniel Hawthorne: Tuesday, June 11th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm Firehouse Arts Center Hear the works of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne from the author himself as a young man. Hawthorne, being a reclusive writer, did not enjoy public appearances and would often choose to read his works at public assemblies over making presentations and grand speeches. Hawthorne will be portrayed by actor Rob Velella.


An Evening with… Prime Minister Winston Churchill: Tuesday, July 9th, 7:00 pm Amador Theater Much has happened since we last heard from Winston Churchill shortly after WWI. The beloved Prime Minister will share what he remembers of the trials and difficulties of WWII and parts of the inspiring speeches he offered over the airwaves in those dark days. He will recall the unconquerable will of the British people and the friendship he formed with President Roosevelt. Professor and Chautauqua scholar, Kevin Radaker, will be reprising his role as Winston Churchill.


An Afternoon or Evening with… Pablo Picasso: Tuesday, August 13th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm Firehouse Arts Center Pablo Picasso is a name synonymous with modern art. He was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet, and playwright. He is regarded as one of the most influential and innovative artists of the 20th century and is known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, and the co-invention of collage art style. Historian, actor, and Chautauqua scholar Doug Mishler will be portraying the famous artist.


An Afternoon or Evening with… William Clark: Tuesday, September 24th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm Firehouse Arts Center Hear from one of America’s greatest explorers, William Clark, who along with Meriwether Lewis, led the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1804 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase. He will recall his time as an explorer, soldier, planter, Indian agent, territorial governor, and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Scholar and actor Hal Stearns will portray William Clark.


An Afternoon or Evening with… George Burns: Tuesday, October 15th, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm (7:00 pm Show Sold Out) Firehouse Arts Center Back by popular demand is the comedic legend, George Burns. At 100 years young, George Burns left a legacy of laughs as one of the few entertainers whose career spanned vaudeville, film, radio, and television. Film and Broadway actor Duffy Hudson will reprise his role as Burns in this musically entertaining portrayal of the beloved cigar-smoking comedian.


For more information on the Ed Kinney, Speakers Series visit www.museumonmain.orgor phone Museum on Main at (925) 462-2766.

The Museum on Main is located at 603 Main Street in historic downtown Pleasanton. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. For more information about current exhibits and programs, visit the Museum’s website at www.museumonmain.org or call (925) 462-2766.


Photos: Frank Mullen as King Henry VIII; Susan Marie Frontczak as Eleanor Roosevelt, Duffy Hudson as George Burns, Kevin Radaker as Winston Churchill, Rob Velella as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Betty Slater as Bessie Coleman, Tom Lorentzen as John Steinbeck



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