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  Historical Performers Group  


Winfield May 7-8, 2016 and May 6-7, 2017

Programs offered by KAPHP members


Ride into History

...calls what they do “sneaky history.” Others have called their performances “entertaining and intelligent” and “the most popular part of the event,” and said, “I don’t remember when I’ve had so much fun—and I’ve learned, too!” Ride has delighted audiences of all ages, in settings as varied as conferences and schools.

"You live up to all your glowing recommendations."

Amelia Earhart and Calamity Jane: One Frontier, Differently Ann Birney brought Amelia Earhart to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in its first-ever dramatic performance. And Joyce Thierer as Calamity Jane has fascinated audiences from chautauqua attendees to four year olds since 1990. Both are ideal programs for conferences and annual meetings. Performances are generally followed by...

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SME - Portals of Time

...is the dynamic team of Belinda and Mike Adams. Gymnasium, stage, or outdoor setting—educational and entertaining assemblies and programs for all occasions and all ages—programs are designed to fit your site.

New group of Union troops"The students were delighted"
-Brandon, WI

"Excellent program! History came alive..."
-Belleville, IL

"[H]eld students’ attention very well. Even the small children were enthralled"
—Longford, KS

The Buffalo Hunters, 1860s -1870s. How one family made their mark on Kansas! Join Jedidiah and Sarah Star and their two teenage daughters as they...

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Sod-Bustin' Kansas HistorySod-Busting Kansas History

Agricultural historian Nolan Sump carries his love for the history of farming onto the stage with stories told by three first-person personae. Humor balances hardship in these tales based on real stories.

J.W. Rauschenberg is an 1880 German immigrant farmer. He discusses growing up in Germany, coming to America, and the adventures of life in the 1870s and 1880s.

Hank Emerson is a 1930s Dust Bowl farmer in Morton...

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Clyde V. Cessna, Pioneer Pilot

Gary as Clyde Cessna with his planeThe name Cessna has long been associated with the manufacture of airplanes in Wichita, Kansas, the Air Capital of the World. From humble beginnings in Kingman County, Kansas near the small town of Adams, came Clyde Cessna, an automobile dealer with a dream to fly his own plane. Not just any airplane, but a revolutionary monoplane, one with a full cantilever wing (a single wing without struts or braces), unheard of at that time.

Eight years after the Wright brothers' successful flight he became one of the first west of the Mississippi to fly. Following crack-ups, frustrations, and near financial ruin the pioneer was at last airborne.

Gary Krehbiel tells in vivid detail...

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A Rose by Any Other Name: Rose Kretsinger, Quilter, Artist, Author (1886-1963)  

Lvnghstry Rose Kretsinger was a nationally famous 20th century quilter from Emporia, Kansas.

Debbie Divine combines two of her loves, quilting and research, into an historic characterization of Rose Kretsinger. Rose shared her knowledge and love of quilting in part through her co-authorship of the highly acclaimed Romance of the Patchwork Quilt. She is in the Quilter’s Hall of Fame and has two quilts in the Top 100 Quilts of the 20th Century. Debbie continues Rose’s love of sharing her quilting, philosophy and techniques, as well as appreciation for the time in which she lived, with her portrayal of Rose.

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Lvnghstry…brings to you people who live in the turbulent times of “Bleeding Kansas”, and the Civil War. 
George and Diane Bernheimer have been “bringing the people of our past into the present” since 1995. Their historically accurate, educational, and entertaining portrayals have been taken to the classroom, historic sites, and to groups interested in learning more about the history of Kansas and our nation. Their presentations are best suited to audiences from 6th grade through adult and can supplement lessons in the Kansas standards for grades 6 through 8.

“The Bernheimers are a joy to work with.  They are consummate professionals thoroughly researching their subjects and presenting compelling and accurate portrayals.” - Kelley Collins - Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management - Fort Scott National Historic Site

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Aviation History Made by Katharine Wright, Oliver and Wilber's sister, and Bonnie Johnson in the cockpit as Louise ThadenLouise Thaden, Beech Pilot

Louise Thaden's record-setting flights, often besting those of her friend Amelia Earhart, introduced the Travel Air 4000 and Beechcraft Staggerwing to the awestruck public. And who could better portray record-setting pilot Louise Thaden than Bonnie Johnson, cross country race pilot(she has a 1946 Luscombe8A), aerospace test engineer, math teacher, and Merkel Airplane Co. Operations Manager?

Performer Bonnie Johnson takes the audience back to 1958, when Louise has just received her first jet ride with son Bill. The winner of the 1929 "Powder Puff" Derby and 1936 Bendix cross country race talks about how...

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Crooked Creek Regulators

Marc as Billy Dixon Buffalo Hunter Billy Dixon was either in the right place at the right time, or the right place at the wrong time. An excellent shot, by 1870 he had already won fame as a hunter and scout, but he is now remembered for what happened at the Battle of Adobe Walls in the panhandle of Texas in 1874, where a small trading community of twenty-nine held off seven hundred Plains Indian warriors.

Dodge City's own Assistant Marshall Marc Ferguson offers Billy's stories and those of the better known Doc Holliday...

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Anna Smith as Revolutionary soldier Deborah SamsonDeborah Samson, Soldier of the American Revolution

...is portrayed by Anna Smith. Samson was one of the first American women known to have impersonated a man to enlist in the army and take part in combat. She was also the first to receive a pension. Samson was descended from Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford, the famous Captain Myles Standish, and Captain Simeon Samson, who distinguished himself in the French and Indian Wars. Stories of these brave men influenced her scheme to disguise herself as a man to fight with General George Washington's Continental Army against England for American Independence.

Anna Smith joined the Kansas Army National Guard when...

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Anna Smith as Revolutionary soldier Deborah SamsonNjoy History

Norman Joy takes you back in time to find out what was on the mind of the Commanding General of the Confederate Army Robert E Lee when he made decisions such as whether to accept command of the forces of the United States or resign his commission and return to Virginia. Or whether to make a final charge on the third day at Gettysburg. Or what options did he have other than surrender in April, 1865.

You might meet the Reverend Peter Cartwright ,a Methodist Circuit Rider, and find out what Frontier religion was like in the early 1800’s.

You could run into Joe Ferris who took Teddy Roosevelt on a buffalo hunt in the Dakota Territory.

Norman Joy draws on own years of military service and his historical research connections to bring these characters to life.

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Alive with History

is the creation of Doug McGovern, presenting the stories of men who made America. Talk to Alexander Gardner, the man who photographed the American Civil War; who captured more photographs of Lincoln than any other photographer;New group of Union troops

who documented the western expansion with pictures of a proposed continental rail route through Kansas to California; who created photo-journalism; and who started a Utopian colony and benevolent insurance services. Alex may also give a lecture on stereo photography!

Interact with a true hero like Franklin Hogan who was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions ruing the Civil War. Follow his travels from Pennsylvania through the war and to his settlement and life in Kansas.


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Clara Gowing’s Changing World New group of Union troops


A Changing World

...awaits, should you choose to venture there. Listen as Clara Gowing, mission school teacher, paints with vivid colors a world teaming with the interactions of tribal people, missionaries, and others who impacted life on an eastern Kansas reservation. This experience will challenge audiences to explore different perspectives and people groups present in mid-nineteenth century Kansas.



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Riches and Rags, Entrepreneur Stories New group of Union troops


Kitty Frank, an entrepreneur with a degree in economics and a passion for stories about creative business people, portrays Kittie Hays Houghton, daughter of trader Seth Hays of Council Grove, Kansas, and fashion designer Nell Donnelly, the second self-made woman millionaire in the U.S.





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This site was created in 2003 by the Kansas Alliance of Professional Historic Performers and Ride into History Cultural and Educational Project, Inc. with an Attraction Development Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing Travel & Tourism Development Division

Original site concept and development by Danny C. Boyce Computer and Network Support and Consulting, Emporia Kansas

Ongoing website maintenance performed by Megan Matile

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