More than 320 people gathered under the big Chautauqua tent at the Frank House Wednesday (June 17) for the first of a four-night series of Chautauqua performances. The event, sponsored by Humanities Nebraska with local support from University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney Public Library, Kearney Community Theatre, Museum of Nebraska Art, Buffalo County Historical Society/Trails and Rails Museum, Archway and Merryman Performing Arts Center, brings history-based enactments by famous authors and figures to support the theme “Free Land? 1862 and the Shaping of Modern America.”
Wednesday night’s performance was by Willa Cather, portrayed by Betty Jean Steinshouer; introduced by Mark Twain, portrayed by Warren Brown. Prior to the enactment, the Academy of Children’s Theater performed a melodrama, with the audience booing, hissing at the villain, young waifs selling popcorn to throw at the villain, and the audience swooning and sighing along with the performers.
Steinshouer and Brown answered questions in character and about their personal connections to their historic figures.
For Thursday and the rest of the weekend schedule, click here.