ALTON — The 14th annual Vintage Voices production, Citizens of Alton Take Center Stage, will be held Oct. 3, 10, 17 and 24 in the City Cemetery, with tours from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The guided tours offer visitors an opportunity to learn about Alton’s history through the eyes of individuals who helped create it. The cemetery provides a calm backdrop for nine actor-docents who perform in the one-hour presentation. The characters are chosen by a community committee and this year showcase citizens who participated in events that changed society. Tour-goers will meet a woman whose tragic death sparked social reforms, learn more about an Alton couple involved in an incident that shocked the world, and be reminded of how truly different the world was 50 years ago. The history lessons portray characters from 1837 to 2004, thereby giving the audiences glimpses of the past and a realization that some struggles continue today.
The 2015 Vintage Voices Program benefits the upkeep of the cemetery and the community outreach programs of Alton Little Theater and is chaired by Jody Basolo, Lee Cox and Mark Hilgert. The cast includes: Lee Cox as Celia Lovejoy; Jerome Minks as Henry Guest McPike; Loretta Williams as Demoy Wilson Schultz; Diana Kay as Wanda Hoskins, Pat Kulish and Diana Enloe as Barbara Dunevant, Patti Kruegel as Virginia Nancy Duncan; Gail Drillinger as a civil rights historian; Mayor Brant Walker and Chrissy Harders as Frank and Alice Tesson; and John Meehan as Sexton Walter Greer. The group represent perhaps the most eclectic assortment of characters to date, with characters who took on gender-bending careers and characters who were just ordinary people caught up in big events in U.S. history. The tour commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania and the worldwide conflict that ensued.
Tickets for the gentle-walking tour are $12 for adults and $8 for students. Alton Little Theater will offer a non-walking tour at the ALT Showplace at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, which will include a dessert buffet. Tickets for the Oct. 18 indoor performance are $15 and reservations are required by calling (618) 462-3205. Tickets for the walking tours are pre-sold at the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau and WBGZ and are available at the cemetery’s main gate beginning at 12:45 p.m. each Saturday. Guests receive a souvenir program and will have the opportunity to view pictures of historic homes and talk with a local historian about characters and events portrayed in this fall’s tour.
Visit www.altonlittletheater.org for information about entertainment events in October.