Thursday, July 29th, 2021

Rushmore Live coming to town on September 17

Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018

George Washington, “the Father of Our Country.” Thomas Jefferson, “the Sage of Monticello.” Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator.” Theodore Roosevelt, “the Rough Rider.” They are men whose achievements and ideas shaped and have sustained America’s greatness. And in September, they will help bring American history to life, in Huntington.

“Rushmore Live,” featuring appearances by historical interpreters as the monumental figures on Mount Rushmore, will engage students in the Huntington County Community School Corporation during the day on Monday, September 17. That evening, the quartet will gather for a free public performance at Huntington University’s Zurcher Auditorium. Support for the 7 p.m. event is provided by the Huntington County Bar Association, the Huntington County Community Schools and the City of Huntington.

September 17 is Constitution Day across America and also is the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the City of Huntington.

Huntington resident Gib Young has been a prominent Teddy Roosevelt interpreter since 2005, having performed at venues including the White House and the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and the JFK Library in Boston. Young was inspired to become a professional interpreter after a meeting with Fritz Klein, who he and many others consider the nation’s foremost interpreter of Abraham Lincoln. Klein lives in Springfield, Illinois, and portrayed Lincoln in the recent Fox TV “Legends & Lies” series on the Civil War. He will join Young on stage in Huntington for “Rushmore Live.”

They will be in the company of Carl Closs, as George Washington, and Tom Pitz, as Thomas Jefferson. Both have taken their place in the front rank of those who help modern audiences discover and rediscover the words and deeds of the Founding Fathers.

Closs has been what he describes as a “living biographer” of George Washington since retiring from a career as a senior business executive and educator in Pennsylvania. He has appeared for groups throughout the U.S. and in France, and has been part of guided tours of Valley Forge.

Pitz, a Virginian like Jefferson himself, has been performing as the nation’s third president for nearly three decades. He is a keen student of Revolutionary War-era history and has appeared before audiences as disparate as business leaders, medical school faculty members and elementary school students.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. for the 7 p.m. “Rushmore Live” performance on Monday, September 17. Zurcher Auditorium is located inside the Merillat Centre for the Arts on the Huntington University campus, 2303 College Avenue, Huntington.