BONNE TERRE – Members of the Big River Chautauqua Committee will soon begin raising money for this summer’s Chautauqua.
This year’s Chautauqua, “Men and Their Dreams” will feature H.G. Wells, portrayed by Ted Kachel; Henry Ford, portrayed by Doug Mishler; and Thomas Edison, portrayed by Hank Fincken. The free event will be July 14-16 in Bonne Terre.
The first fund-raiser is a trivia night, which will 6:30 p.m. April 2 at Heritage Hall, 118 East School Street in Bonne Terre.
The cost is $10 per person (eight-person teams). For more information or to make reservations, call 358-7899.
A barbecue is also being planned to raise money for the annual performance.
This is the 11th year for Big River Chautauqua.
This isn’t Mishler’s first appearance at the Big River Chautauqua. Last year, he portrayed William Clark.
Besides Clark and Ford, he has performed as P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, and social activist William Lloyd Garrison, World War II journalist Ernie Pyle, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the Reverend Billy Sunday, and as artist Thomas Hart Benton.
He’s been portraying characters at Chautauquas across the country since 1994. He has performed at more than 1,000 of these shows.
Hank Fincken is a performer, a published author and a playwright. He has written and produced 12 original plays and published 25 stories.
Besides Edison, Fincken has also performed as Johnny Appleseed, Christopher Columbus and Henry Ford.