‘ExtraOrdinary Lives’ centers on county’s place in state history

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Indiana’s Bicentennial is the perfect time to share and honor the stories of some of the outstanding individuals who once called Switzerland County home and impacted history far beyond our state.

Thanks to an Indiana Masterpiece Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Switzerland County Historical Society commissioned a play, ‘ExtraOrdinary Lives’, that debuts this weekend, revealing some surprising characters.

The play is being presented tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, November 18th-19th at 7 p.m.; and this Sunday, November 20th at 2 p.m. The drama opens at the Switzerland County Courthouse, where citizens have gathered on December 11th, 1816 to hear of Indiana’s statehood. The audience will then walk by lantern light to the Hoosier Theater where the play will reconvene.

Statehood is just the beginning, as conversations over time and space introduces renowned people who within the coming years called Switzerland County home. ‘ExtraOrdinary Lives’ is a dramatic presentation founded on research and fact yet touched by local lore. The Switzerland County Historical Society has extensive history files and genealogical information that provided the information necessary to weave this engaging tale.

Act One was written by Don Morrison, a former resident and teacher from Switzerland County who now resides in Tennessee. It serves as a brief yet essential historic context for Indiana’s Bicentennial.

Act Two was written by Libby Kinman, local playwright and director at the Historic Hoosier Theater in Vevay. Kinman’s fascinating cast of characters spans the 19th and 20th Centuries, crossing paths over an evolving Switzerland County.

The ‘ExtraOrdinary Lives’ cast includes performers who are familiar favorites to the Hoosier Theater stage and some who are making their theatrical debut. The cast includes: Dan Bixler, Steve Bladen, Jerry Brown, Bob Findley, Lisa Fisher, Jerry Golay, Shane Jackson, Ryan Jesop, Lary Jones, John Kinman, Michael Kruse, Matt Levell, Dell Percer-Snook, Steve Sieglitz, Josh South, and Floyd and Sundra Whitham.

The play takes place in two locations, beginning at the Switzerland County Courthouse at 212 West Main Street in Vevay. Act Two takes place at the Hoosier Theater at 209 Ferry Street.

Tickets are $10, available at the door or in advance at the Switzerland County Visitors Center. For further information call the Switzerland County Historical Society at (812) 427-3560.

-Martha Bladen