Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Founding Fathers together again, September 17

Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019

Individually, their names are familiar to us as the statesmen instrumental in crafting the Constitution of the United States: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.

Collectively, American history presents them as our Founding Fathers.

On September 16 and 17, two of these names will be portrayed in Huntington, helping bring the American Revolution to life. Ian Rose and Kyle Jenks, as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, will engage students in assemblies both days at Huntington County Community schools.  On Tuesday evening, September 17 – which is Constitution Day across America as well as the 171th anniversary of the establishment of the City of Huntington – they will take the stage, in 18th-century costume, for a free public performance at Huntington University’s Zurcher Auditorium. Support for Tuesday’s event is provided by the City of Huntington and Huntington University.

Ian Rose, from Philadelphia, is a classically trained actor who has performed as Hamilton for the past 12 years at educational and historical venues including the Smithsonian Institution, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. He has appeared in a number of television productions as well, including a “People’s Court” reenactment of an Alexander Hamilton legal case. While earning his degree in acting from Western Illinois University, Rose took up fencing and later became a black belt in karate. Throughout his acting career he has specialized in choreographing stage combat.

Kyle Jenks hails from upstate New York and now also lives in Philadelphia. His interest in Colonial-era history led him to become a reenactor in 2003. He performed as a character, “Douglas McKenna the Patriot,” for several years before his focus and study turned to James Madison. Jenks has produced, written and directed outdoor historical dramas, among them an adaptation of Walter Edmonds’ ”Drums Along the Mohawk.”

Huntington resident Gib Young, who is a nationally renowned interpreter of Theodore Roosevelt, will introduce the Founders at the Tuesday night public event. Young was part of Huntington’s 2018 Constitution Day program, “Rushmore Live!” in the company of reenactors as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – the other faces with Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore.

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for the 7 p.m. “Founding Fathers” program. The Huntington County Community Choir’s CopperSound and the Huntington University Choral Ensemble will open the evening’s festivities in the Zurcher Auditorium in the Merillat Centre for the Arts on the Huntington University campus, 2303 College Avenue.