OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is proud to present the Rushmore Four, a program featuring the presidents who appear on Mount Rushmore, on Wednesday, November 16. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt will be portrayed by four living history professionals. Each president will offer stories from his respective era and will answer questions about his service to the United States.
Performances are scheduled for November 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. There is no charge for the 2 p.m. performance, but patrons are required to reserve a seat. Admission for the evening performance is $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for non-members. To reserve a free seat for the 2 p.m. performance or to purchase tickets for the 7 p.m. performance, please visit okhistory.org/rushmore.
George Washington will be portrayed by Dan Shippey. Shippey is the founder and director of the Breed’s Hill Institute, an educational non-profit focused on teaching the history of American Liberty. He has worked in commercial film and theater in roles including writer, director and actor. In recent years Shippey acted as historical consultant to Ian Kahn, who portrayed George Washington on AMC’s “TURN.”
Professional actor and theater director Bill Barker has been portraying Thomas Jefferson since 1983 when he was invited to interpret the author of the Declaration of Independence at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He has depicted Jefferson on television, in film and at locations including Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, the University of Virginia, the Jefferson Memorial, the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the National Archives, the Newseum and the Palace of Versailles. Barker is featured throughout the year as Jefferson in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
Fritz Klein of Springfield, Illinois, has been an actor and speaker for many years. He was first asked to portray Abraham Lincoln for a small, local celebration during the bicentennial year. Now a full-time actor and a member of the National Speakers Association, he has had the opportunity to travel the world portraying Lincoln on stage, in feature films, documentaries and for professional speaking engagements.
Gib Young is a businessman from Huntington, Indiana, and has played many roles in local theater productions. He is also an avid American history buff. After a lifetime of being asked, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Theodore Roosevelt?” Young decided to take on the role professionally. He truly admires the 26th president and wishes he had the zest and energy for life that Roosevelt displayed every day.
This program is an education-focused event wholly sponsored by Inasmuch Foundation and coincides with the 17th anniversary of the opening of the Oklahoma History Center, as well as the 115th anniversary of Oklahoma Statehood Day on November 16, 1907. For more information about the Rushmore Four event, please call 405-522-0765.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit okhistory.org.