SOMERSET – The Somerset Community College (SCC) Student Government Association, together with Kentucky Chautauqua, will present two different performances on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at SCC’s McCreary Center, in the Building 2 Foyer, located at 250 College Street in Whitley City. There is no charge and all are invited.
Abraham Lincoln: “I, too, am a Kentuckian” will take place at 11:00 a.m. and, Mark Twain: American Icon will follow in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln: “I, too, am a Kentuckian”
Born on a farm in what is now LaRue County, Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) spent his early years in the Commonwealth. When he was seven, his family moved to Indiana, and later Illinois. But, as his brilliance and burning political ambition carried him to the presidency and greatness – a panel of historians recently chose him as the most influential American who ever lived – Lincoln always had connections with his native state.
In his law office in Springfield, Ill., he had a partner, William “Billy” Herndon, who hailed from Greensburg, Ky. His best friend in Springfield was Joshua Speed from Louisville. His wife, Mary, was from Lexington, a daughter of the prominent Todd family. And his political role model, a friend of the Todd family, was the Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. During the Civil War, Lincoln was unpopular in Kentucky, but when he said, “I, too, am a Kentuckian,” no one could dispute it.
Though he never came close to winning Kentucky in a presidential election, and was reviled by some of the state’s most outspoken residents, Lincoln always regarded Kentucky with affection and he never lost sight of its strategic importance in the Civil War.
Lincoln read Kentucky newspapers, knew the thinking of opinion leaders, and was sensitive to the state’s strong attachment to the institution of slavery. Despite imposing a sometimes harsh military rule, he was able to keep Kentucky in the Union, but few Kentuckians thanked him for it until after he was dead.
Jim Sayre of Lawrenceburg portrays Abraham Lincoln for Kentucky Chautauqua. A retired transportation manager, Sayre has been studying and portraying the great president for several decades.
Mark Twain: American Icon
Born November 30, 1835 in Florida, Missouri, Mark Twain (originally named Samuel Clemens) penned several novels including two major classics of American literature, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He was also a riverboat pilot, humorist, lecturer, journalist, publisher and inventor. His mother, Jane Lampton, was born in Adair County, Kentucky, where she met Clemens’ father, who was clerking at a law office in Columbia, Kentucky. They married and spent two years living in Columbia before moving to Tennessee and eventually to Missouri.
With his gift for storytelling and developing unique and interesting characters, Twain single-handedly put American literature on the map.
Robert Brock portrays Mark Twain for Kentucky Chautauqua. Robert F. Brock is an assistant professor of theatre at Lindsey Wilson College. He recently served as the artistic director at Kentucky Repertory Theatre in Horse Cave. Prior to that, he served as the theatre’s education director for four years. He has worked with Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, the Folger Theatre Group, the Fulton Opera House and Off-Broadway. He received a master of fine arts degree in acting from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and a bachelor of arts in theatre from the University of Kentucky. He has worked closely with the Governor’s School for the Arts, teaching audition workshops and helping with the selection process. He also teaches part-time for Western Kentucky University’s Glasgow campus.
Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation for the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from: Christina Lee Brown, the Brown-Forman Corporation, the Cralle Foundation, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, PNC Bank in Lexington, Scripps Howard Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., Union College, WCPO-TV, and Western Kentucky University.
The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is not a state agency, but is a proud partner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For information, visit www.kyhumanities.org or call (859) 257-5932.