Presentation in Concordia to Explore Opera Houses in Kansas

Cloud County Historical Society Museum will host "Opera House Culture on the Kansas Frontier," a presentation and discussion by Jane Rhoads on October 19th at 6 pm at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church Fellowship Hall in Concordia.

The presentation is part of the Cloud County Historical Society Museum's Annual Meeting. The meal will be served at 6 pm. Each meal is $15.00 per person. Jane Rhoads' presentation will begin at 7 pm. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. Contact the Cloud County Historical Society Museum at 785-243-2866 for more information. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

Frontier Kansas was not a cultural desert, as some tend to assume. Opera houses were home to important community events such as dramatic productions, commencements, and traveling theater performances. Rhoads will discuss how settlers arriving from European countries and the eastern United States brought with them ideas of the cultural life they wanted to establish.

Rhoads is the author of "Kansas Opera Houses, Actors, and Community Events 1855 - 1925," a 2009 Notable Kansas Book. She has traveled the state locating and photographing Kansas' remaining opera houses and learning about their social and theatrical significance.

"I first became interested in opera houses as structures, but very quickly came to appreciate the incredible variety of events that occurred in them," said Rhoads. "These events are really a cultural history of Kansas' development."

"Opera House Culture on the Kansas Frontier" is part of the Kansas Humanities Council's Kansas Stories Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience -- our innovations, culture, heritage, and conflicts.