June 9 – 19, 2022

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Eisenhower, Houdini, Kennedy, O’Keeffe and Murray - brilliant Americans who stepped up to accept the challenges of their lifetimes.  Their influence spanned the arts of war, politics, painting, social protest, and even deception. Hear their stories – ask them how their world changed – and why they accepted the gauntlet.

WHO:  A cast of nationally acclaimed historical interpreters will perform in character.  (Performer Bios below)

  • Dwight Eisenhower – General and President (Portrayed by Doug Mishler, Reno, NV)
  • Harry Houdini – Magician and Skeptic (Portrayed by Larry Bounds, Greer, SC)
  • Robert Kennedy – Politician and Attorney General (Portrayed by Jeremy Meier, Sylvania, OH)
  • Georgia O’Keeffe – On Canvas and Off (Portrayed by Leslie Goddard, Chicago, IL)
  • Pauli Murray – Attorney and Priest (Portrayed by Becky Stone, Fairview, NC)

WHAT:  A ten-day, two-weekend festival offering entertaining historically accurate storytelling. Get ready to travel in time and interact with these famous Americans, where secrets will be revealed.  You’ll laugh, cry and flat out have a great time.  And the shows are FREE! (Nominal fee in Asheville.)

WHEN:  June 9 – 19, 2022

WHERE:  Performances will be held outdoors in the evenings and indoors during the day. Bring lawn seating for outdoor shows. Most indoor shows require prior registration.

  • Greenville, SC – Greenville Technical College’s Barton Campus, Centre Stage, The Phillis Wheatley Center, Senior Action, Hartness Performing Arts Center at Christ Church School and Runway Cafe’s hangar at the Greenville Downtown Airport
  • Mauldin, SC – Mauldin Cultural Center Amphitheater
  • Spartanburg, SC – Headquarters Library, Barrett Room
  • Asheville, NC – Warren Wilson College Morris’ Pavilion
  • Brevard, NC – Transylvania County Library Amphitheater
  • Athens, GA – Morton Theater


“Fantastic opportunity to get a more personal experience with historical figures. The experience with listening to their stories and asking the performers questions both in and out of character is truly engaging.” Jean Yarsawich, Augusta, GA.

“My daughter Isabella and her friends loved every show. They attended the first one rather as a favor to me but insisted we come to all the others… Couldn’t stop talking about the questions they wish they had asked.”  Hamilton Agnew

HOW:  Historical interpreters dressed in costume will bring each character to life and speak in the character’s own words. The audience will then question the character, delving more deeply into the issues that have been raised. The replies will be historically authentic, based on research using letters, diaries, journals, and published writings. Finally, the interpreter will step out of character and answer audience questions from a critical, modern perspective. 

Greenville Chautauqua More than history. More than a performance. More than a story. We are Chautauqua, a nonprofit, experiential oral tradition that brings history to life through interactive theater and compelling discussion that stimulates critical thinking. We believe stories should be told and histories deserve to be heard.  We’re committed to bringing great communities together to celebrate culture, conversation, and critical thought. We celebrate the diversity of our culture through a variety of voices from the past because history belongs to all of us. As a non-profit dedicated to bringing history to life, our events are and always will be free, fun, and family-friendly.  

Chautauqua History Comes Alive 2022 Festival Historical Interpreters

Doug Mishler (Eisenhower) – Reno, NV

Since 1993 Doug has been nationally recognized for bringing “history to life.” Doug has presented figures from Nikita Khrushchev to Theodore Roosevelt, to Ernie Pyle, and P. T. Barnum. He has made over 800 first person presentations of over 30 historical figures, including Stonewall Jackson, Henry Ford, Pablo Picasso, and now Dwight D Eisenhower, Nikola Tesla, and Gene Roddenberry.

The voices in his head keep him busy, but also in the last four years he has been the Founder & Managing Artistic Director of Restless Artists’ Theatre. When not in the theatre or doing his characters, Mishler has taught American Cultural history for over 20 years. Like his idol Teddy Roosevelt, Doug believes there is still plenty of time to grow up and get a “real job”—but later!

Larry Bounds (Houdini) – Greer, SC

Larry Bounds has performed on the Chautauqua stage since 2002. Over the years he has portrayed Einstein, Churchill, Disney, Houdini, Crockett, Von Braun, Cronkite, and last year Andrew Jackson to numerous Chautauqua audiences nationwide. Larry holds a B.A. in theatre and a M.Ed from The University of Tennessee, and he is a National Board Certified educator. For 35 years he taught public high school. He was awarded his school’s Teacher of the Year in 2003 and was recognized as one of the Upstate’s Most Influential Educators by Parent Magazine in 2018.

He has performed as a professional magician since 1973, including 8 years entertaining with Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The International Brotherhood of Magicians admitted him to the Order of Merlin in 2009. Larry is also an active member of Mensa, the International Churchill Society, and the South Carolina Treasure and Artifact Association.

Jeremy Meier (Robert Kennedy) – from Sylvania, OHJeremy Meier serves as the Chair of Fine and Performing Arts at Owens Community College in Northwest Ohio. He has directed nineteen student productions at the school including Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet as well as adapted and directed texts for the stage including Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell.

In addition to his portrayal of Robert Kennedy, Meier has created original solo performances for the Ohio Humanities on John Dillinger and Oliver Hazard Perry. In 2017, Meier was awarded a grant by Ohio Humanities to pilot the state’s first Chautauqua Training Program for new scholars learning to develop original figures based on historical figures.

Leslie Goddard (Georgia O’Keeffe) – from Chicago, ILLeslie Goddard, Ph.D., is an award-winning scholar and actress who has been portraying women in history and presenting history lectures for nearly twenty years. She holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Northwestern University as well as master’s degrees in both museum studies and in theater. A former museum director, she is a lifetime resident of the Chicago area and currently works full-time as a public speaker, actress and author. Her presentations have been seen by audiences in more than thirty states, including scores of universities, museums, libraries, and Chautauqua festivals.

You may have seen Leslie previously at our local Chautauqua as Betty Davis, Mary Pickford, Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, Alice Paul, the Schyuler Sisters and Jackie Kennedy.

Becky Stone (Pauli Murray) – from Fairview, NCBecky Stone, holds a BA from Vassar College in drama and a M.Ed. in Elementary Educational Counseling from Villanova University. She is a former teacher of theater and chorus and theater appreciation at Veritas Christian Academy in Fletcher, NC. Becky portrays Rosa Parks, Pauli Murray, Harriet Tubman and Maya Angelou nationwide.

Becky has been a regular storyteller-performer at the Biltmore Estate for many years. She has performed as a storyteller at schools, libraries, and festivals throughout Western North Carolina specializing in African-American, Appalachian, and world tales. She also researched, developed, and performed historical programs for the Center for Diversity Education in Asheville, The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

Chautauqua History Comes Alive 2022 Festival Schedule

 GREATER GREENVILLE, SC June 10 – 19 (Free)

Fri 6/10            7:30p   Houdini, Under the tent at Greenville Tech

Sat 6/11           9:00a   Discussion about Georgia O’Keeffe, Senior Action

2:00p   Pauli Murray, Hartness Arts Center at Christ Church School

7:30p   Robert Kennedy, Under the tent at Greenville Tech

Sun 6/12          2:00p   Georgia O’Keeffe, Hartness Arts Center at Christ Church School *

7:30p   Eisenhower, Under the tent at Greenville Tech

Mon 6/13        9:00a   Discussion about Houdini, Senior Action

7:30p   Georgia O’Keeffe, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

Tue 6/14          9:00a   Discussion about Pauli Murray, Senior Action

11:30a Eisenhower, Centre Stage *

Wed 6/15        11:30a Pauli Murray, Phillis Wheatley Center *

7:30p   Eisenhower, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

Thu 6/16          9:00a   Discussion about Robert Kennedy, Senior Action

7:30p   Robert Kennedy, Mauldin Cultural Center Outdoor Amphitheater

Fri 6/17            9:00a   Discussion about Eisenhower, Senior Action

7:30p   Georgia O’Keeffe, Under the tent at Greenville Tech

Sat 6/18           10:00a Eisenhower, Runway Cafe’s hangar at Greenville Downtown Airport

2:00p   Robert Kennedy, Hartness Arts Center at Christ Church School *

7:30p   Pauli Murray, Under the tent at Greenville Tech

Sun 6/19          2:00p   Houdini, Hartness Arts Center at Christ Church School *

7:30p   Eisenhower, Under the tent at Greenville Tech


Asheville, NC       June 9-10

($10 advance ticket required)

Warren Wilson College Morris’ Pavilion

Thu      6/9       3:00p   Pauli Murray & Houdini

Fri        6/10     3:00p   Georgia O’Keeffe & Robert Kennedy


Athens, GA          June 12


Headquarters Library, Barrett Room 

Sun      6/12     3:00p   Pauli Murray

Sun      6/12     7:00p   Robert Kennedy


Brevard, NC         June 13 - 17


Transylvania County Library, Rogow Room

Mon     6/13     11:00a Eisenhower

Tue      6/14     7:30p   Houdini

Wed     6/15     7:30p   Georgia O’Keeffe

Thu      6/16     7:30p   Pauli Murray

Fri        6/17     11:00a Robert Kennedy


Spartanburg, SC  June 13-17

(Free)          Registration Required

Headquarters Library, Barrett Room

Mon     6/13     3:00p   Robert Kennedy *

                        7:00p   Robert Kennedy

Tue      6/14     3:00p   Georgia O’Keeffe *

                        7:00p   Georgia O’Keeffe

Wed     6/15     3:00p   Houdini *

                        7:00p   Houdini

Thu      6/16     3:00p   Eisenhower *

                        7:00p   Eisenhower

Fri        6/17     3:00p   Pauli Murray *

                        7:00p   Pauli Murray

*   ASL Interpreted Shows

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