Starring Ben Frankin, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Hedy Lamarr

Get ready to laugh, cry and flat out have a great time. Four different shows performed in costume by nationally acclaimed historical interpreters. 

Meet four amazing American game-changers – hear their stories – ask them how they re-invented their world. You’ll laugh – you’ll cry – you’ll have lots of questions. And they’ll be answered. Bring your stories. Share your experiences. Get inspired. Because it’s not just history – it’s personal.

  • Enlighten a new nation with Ben Franklin

  • Turn darkness into light with Thomas Edison

  • Envision world peace with Nikola Tesla

  • Smash the glass ceiling with Hedy Lamar

All Transylvania Chautauqua shows will be held at the Transylvania Library in the Rogow Room, 212 South Gaston St Brevard, NC 28712  | MAP

Show are FREE.


Hedy Lamarr | portrayed by Judith Kalaora

Saturday June 13 at 7pm
Transylvania Library in the Rogow Room, Brevard NC
Free

Who would have believed that “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World,” Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr, was a genuine celling crasher scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, and made your cell phone, GPS, and Wi-Fi possible? But there’s no law that says an inventor can’t be beautiful.

She was the scintillating adolescent in Ekstase; the cunning wife who wrenched herself free from a dead marriage to a Nazi munitions mogul, the beautiful refugee who fled the Nazis to become a Hollywood movie siren, the Mark Zuckerburg-esque twenty-something brash enough to believe her inventions would upend the world. Perhaps the most important thing Hedy Lamarr reinvented was herself.

For all the girls, women, and anyone ever told they cannot do math, understand science, or change the universe, Hedy Lamarr will inspire you to continue your pursuit to reinvent your world.

MORE DETAILS

Benjamin Franklin | portrayed by Larry Bounds

Thursday June 16 at 7pm
Transylvania Library in the Rogow Room, Brevard NC
Free

Living in the Age of Enlightenment, Ben Franklin was many things: a printer, a postmaster, an ambassador, an author, a scientist, a founding father. Above all, he was an inventor, creating solutions to common problems, innovating new technology, new governments and even making life a little more musical. Franklin upheld science and intellect and reason – scandalous man!

Franklin helped invent and reinvent the American government as well as himself. He was a Loyalist who transformed into a patriot and founding father. He proposed the Albany Plan, mirroring the Iroquois. He drew up the Articles of Confederation uniting the colonies under the British Crown – and then he signed their Declaration of Independence. As the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention, he declared that the new government was a republic – if we can keep it.

Besides his experiments in electricity and inventions of bifocals, swim fins, the Franklin stove and the glass armonica, perhaps Ben Franklin should be best known for helping create a government with the flexibility to reinvent itself.

MORE DETAILS

Nikola Tesla | portrayed by Ian Ruskin

Thursday June 16 at 7pm
Transylvania Library in the Rogow Room, Brevard NC
Free

Nikola Tesla has been called many things: wizard, showman, prophet, charlatan, magician, and Father of the 20th Century – perhaps even of the 21st. He was a prophet dishonored in his own time, but revered in ours. Now he’s a rock star icon for billionaires, cyberpunks, and inventors who are still fiddling with everyday machines in their basements and garages. A car, a rock band, and a unit of magnetic measurement have been named after him.

Tesla sparked the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the 20th century. This lone genius inventor is credited with inventing everything from radar to the microwave oven – including alternating current, the Tesla coil, and wireless transmission.

Called a madman by his enemies, a genius by others, and an enigma by nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was a trailblazer who created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming devices that were virtually without theoretical precedent. He is now seen as a visionary who wanted to marry technology with world peace.

MORE DETAILS

Thomas Edison | portrayed by Hank Fincken

Wednesday June 17 at 7pm— Ferguson Auditorium, A-B Technical College
Music: TBA
Tickets:  $7— Box Office opens 6pm before show

He was the classic Yankee tinkerer, quintessential workaholic, serial inventor, prolific genius, and overwhelming force of nature driven by compulsive creativity with a gift for turning big dreams into everyday reality. Nearly all his inventions came after thousands of experiments that failed but taught him something. (The only device that worked on the first try was the phonograph.)

Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents including the light bulb, phonograph, microphone, motion pictures, fluoroscope, rechargeable batteries, stock ticker, and mimeograph – not including others, such as the X-ray fluoroscope that he left unlicensed for the benefit of medicine.

But perhaps Edison’s greatest legacy is as creator of the modern R&D laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ which he called an “invention factory,” where constant experimentation was the necessary prelude to discovery. He not only hatched a new culture of innovation, he reinvented the whole way we go about it.

MORE DETAILS

These shows are generously sponsored by the Friends of the Transylvania Library.