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Beckwith Theatre ‘ghost walk’ at Riverside Cemetery in October

Published 8:51am Monday, September 21, 2009

Beckwith Theatre Company’s October production will take place at Riverside Cemetery.
Former Dowagiac residents will “come to life” and share their stories.

Theatergoers will meet a former slave who was prominent in Dowagiac society, the son of a barber who should have ranked with the best of American poets, an inventor whose ideas are still used worldwide, a writer and illustrator for Ladies Home Journal, a founder of Michigan State University and a gentleman who died at Beckwith Theatre.

Also appearing will be a Dowagiac boy who grew up to be an Indiana Supreme Court justice, a woman who opened Dowagiac’s first kindergarten, a murdered family, an Orphan Train rider and a bride who survived the sinking of the Titanic.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. Oct. 2-3 and 9-10 and Sundays, Oct. 4 and 11 at 2 p.m.

Evening performances have an early start because the sun sets at 7:30 p.m.

The tour is a walking tour over less than one half mile of sometimes uneven ground, so everyone is advised to wear comfortable shoes, dress appropriately for the weather and bring a flashlight if they wish.

Golf carts will be available for those who would have difficulty walking.

As people arrive, they will be assigned to a guide who will direct their group from one gravesite to the next.

For reservations and golf cart requests, call Beckwith Theatre, 782-ROLE (7653).
Parking is available at the cemetery.

Ticket sales will be at the first entrance to the cemetery, just over the bridge on the left.
Paul Pugh directed this production and wrote many of the scripts.

“These stories could not have been told without the research done by Stan Hamper and Barb and Grif Cook.

“Before Grif’s recent death, he was planning to participate in the tour and portray his ancestor James Emmons, a Revolutionary War soldier.

“As Karen and I researched this project, our challenge was not to come up with enough material, but to choose from all the wonderful stories that could be told.

“Although this is called a ghost walk, it’s intended as a respectful portrayal of these residents and an interesting way to learn local history,” Pugh said.

In case of rain, come to the Beckwith Theatre.

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