‘Peak Sisters’ play brings our past to the present


Pick your performance!

The 2016 Peak Sisters are ready to take the stage at the Hoosier Theater this Friday and Saturday, April 15th-16th at 7 p.m.; and also this Sunday, April 17th at 2 p.m.

The ladies have rehearsed to near perfection. Posters are distributed, Facebook posts have been made and word-of-mouth promotion is spreading.

Now here comes your part.

Come see us! Admission is $5. Tickets are available in advance at the Switzerland County Historical Museum and the Visitors Center. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

The Peak Sisters was written in 1887 by Mary Barnard Horne, a playwright of the late 19th Century who specialized in plays for amateur groups like church choirs doing fundraisers. Memorialized in a sepia tint photo taken in Vevay in 1888, with a group of women in peaked and veiled hats, The Peak Sisters had inquiring minds wanting to know who they were.

A script was located and the story unraveled.

We were pleased to discover the peaked hats represent the mountain peaks of Alaska, from where the charming characters reside. The text reads like a scripted talent show, with songs and humor of the 1880s. The fun-for-all-ages show lasts just an hour.

You are sure to know some of the gifted volunteers who are working hard to bring The Peak Sisters back.

Keziah, aka Shannon Phipps, director of the Switzerland County Public Library, is the eldest of the sisters and presides as the emcee. She introduces her fellow performers and deals with challenges from the young, irrepressible Sophia, aka Elizabeth “Itsy” Jones, retired superintendent of Switzerland County Public School Corporation.

Among the “sisters” are historical society members that are also active in various groups and businesses within the county. Retired Switzerland County teachers, now performers, are: Helen Parks, Sharon Hansel and Debbie Allen, accompanist. Jan Bixler can be seen life guarding at the YMCA, when she’s not reciting lofty poetry.

Historical society board president Sundra Whitham, treasurer Anita Danner (active in the Community Art Gallery and Kiwanis) and trustee Geri Emmelman (employed at the Red Wolf Sanctuary) volunteered as “sisters”, in addition to their active roles within the historical society.

A Hoosier Theater favorite and secretary/treasurer for the theater board, Del Percer-Snook, can be found helping out at the Ridge Winery Tasting Room and Swiss Alps Printing. Barbara Fletcher is a home care health provider in Cincinnati and relatively new historical society member.

Come see these 11 dedicated performers who have given of their time and talents to help raise funds for the Switzerland County Historical Society and the Hoosier Theater. Both groups are 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations working hard to enrich our community. Come show your support this weekend.


As pseudo-director, I wish to thank these generous hearted, civic-minded women and their families for their willingness to set aside their regular schedules and make time for this theatrical endeavor. A special “thank you” also to Vevay Newspapers for providing this ongoing forum for the Switzerland County Historical Society, where we can share our county’s history and our many activities that are all part of telling the Switzerland County story.

-Martha Bladen