If you have never seen GC professor George McGee doing his Chautauqua Series portrayal of Kentucky statesman Henry Clay, does he have a great spring Sunday drive for you!

On April 11 at 2 p.m., “Clay” will take his audience at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea back to his day – around the end of the 18th Century. He’s also likely to pull people from the audience to stand-in as Andrew Jackson, John Randolph, John Quincy Adams – or even Humphrey Marshall, the first person with whom Clay dueled. He also chooses Indians and farmers.

“I’m having more fun than ever before with the added audience participation…and I think the participants are too,” said McGee, Chair of Georgetown College new Theatre & Performance Studies department.

Double-barreled entertainment: Unique performance art – FREE and open to the public – and the wonderful Kentucky crafts at the Artisan Center, just off Interstate 75 near Berea. For more information, see below.

Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet

Henry Clay to “Visit” the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea – April 11

Release Date: March 19, 2010
Contact: Gwen Heffner
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
859/ 985-5448 ext 230
gwen. heffner@ky.gov

BEREA, Ky. – On Sunday, April 11, actor George McGee of Georgetown will portray Henry Clay in a performance titled “Henry Clay – Kentucky’s Great Statesman” beginning at 2 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

George McGee has been portraying Kentucky’s legendary historical figure Henry Clay for the past 17 years. “I was once told by a fellow actor that I looked like Henry Clay,” says McGee, who teaches theater at Georgetown College, “and this initial comment started me researching Henry Clay. The more I learned the more fascinated I became.” When McGee began looking at what a typical day was like for Henry Clay, he realized that the man was a powerhouse of energy and ideas. McGee states, “Just Henry Clay’s personal correspondence alone is daunting.”

McGee’s performance follows Clay’s life beginning with his education in Virginia and his move to Kentucky in 1797, where he set up a law practice in Lexington. Clay’s tenure as Speaker of the House shaped the history of Congress, for he changed the position to one of ‘rule enforcer’ to one of complex strategy by assigning people of his political views to key congressional committees. Clay became known for his ability to compromise as he brought together different factions over issues of the day. For more than 40 years Henry Clay was a major player on the national political scene, renowned for his oratory and devotion to the Union and while he ran for the Presidency three times, he was never elected.

This performance and portrayal of “Henry Clay – Kentucky’s Great Statesman” will be held Sunday, April 11 beginning at 2 p.m. in the Private Dining Room of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. This performance is free and open to the public. As a part of the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Chautauqua Series, this program is funded in part by both the Kentucky Humanities Council Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located at 975 Walnut Meadow Road, just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from 100 counties across the Commonwealth and a special exhibit “Kiln-Formed Glass by Kentucky Artisans.” For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s Web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov .

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.