Talking Tombstones seeks to illuminate Hutchinson residents



Hutchinson Theatre Guild holds annual fundraiser Talking Tombstones


Hutchinson, Kan. – October 11th, 2014, marks the Hutchinson Theatre Guild’s fundraiser: Talking Tombstones. Talking Tombstones is a yearly event for the Hutchinson Theatre Guild. Eastside Cemetery, located across from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility on Severance Street, will be serving as the location for the fundraiser.


Talking Tombstones will be held Saturday, October 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the mausoleum and again at 7:30 p.m. for the walking tour. Actors, volunteering their time and talents, portray local residents of Hutchinson who have passed away and are buried in Hutchinson’s Eastside Cemetery.


Tickets are $20 and may be purchased in advance at the Hutchinson Theatre Guild’s ticket outlet, Apron Strings (Sherman and Main) or online at Patrons may choose to purchase tickets the day of the event at Eastside Cemetery’s mausoleum 30 minutes prior to the 5:30 and 7:30 pm events.


Fundraiser Description:


Join us at Eastside Cemetery for a moonlit stroll through Hutchinson’s colorful history. Meet some of the city’s most auspicious and perhaps notorious former residents as they tell the tales of their lives from beyond the grave. This year’s tour will include Minnie Rayl, wealthy widow of a former Hutchinson politician and successful farmer, who, at the ripe old age of 62, participated (or did she?) in the robbery of an Oklahoma bank and was arrested when police officers discovered the $19,000 in her car. You’ll also hear from Samuel Teter, who lived through the 1874 Grasshopper Invasion, Thomas Jennings, Hutchinson’s beloved sheriff who died in a tragic car accident (his funeral was one of the largest in Hutchinson history), and a few others.


Patrons with physical challenges are encouraged to come to the 5:30 pm performance at the mausoleum as seating will be provided. The 7:30 pm performance will feature a walking tour of the cemetery where participants will be led by guides to the residents (and their respective tombstones around the cemetery) being featured in this year’s fundraiser.

Talking Tombstones is a partnership with several local organizations.   The characters in the fundraiser are researched by the Reno County Genealogical Society throughout the year. Hutchinson Theatre Guild Board of Director member Deidre Mattox, who is in charge of the event this year, took the information researched to write scripts, audition actors and prepare their performances. The Hutchinson Municipal Band will be assisting by donating the use of their chairs for the 5:30 pm performance in Eastside’s mausoleum. Finally, RSVP graciously provides volunteers whom assist in leading people on the 7:30 pm tour of the cemetery.


If you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Charles Johnston, Production Coordinator for the Hutchinson Theatre Guild.




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