The search for Amelia Earhart can finally be called off! The famed aviator will be talking about her thrilling flights at 12 noon, Monday, Feb. 7 at the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Library and at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7 at the Liberal Memorial Library.
Scholar/performer Ann Birney of Ride into History will take the audience back to 1937, just before Earhart’s disappearance over the Pacific Ocean.
Immediately following the performance at the college, Ann Birney will give a workshop on historical performances and how to choose a historic figure to research, interpret and create.
Each performance is free and open to the public.
Earhart twice set out to fly around the world at the equator before she disappeared. The first time, heading west from California, she wrecked her twin-engine Lockheed Electra taking off from Hawaii. Birney, as Earhart, will take the audience to April 14, 1937. Earhart is waiting for her airplane, her silver “flying laboratory” to be repaired so that she can try again. This time, she tells the audience, she will go east instead of west, hoping to reverse her luck with the reversal in direction.
Earhart came into the public eye when she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air in 1928. Among her other records, she became the first woman and second person to solo across the Atlantic, the first person to solo over the Pacific, the first person to fly from Hawaii to California, and the fastest woman to fly non-stop across the U.S.
Birney is a member of Ride into History, an historical performance touring troupe that has performed throughout the U.S. Birney’s interpretation of Amelia Earhart is based on extensive research. She holds a doctorate in American Studies from the University of Kansas and, like Earhart, is a native Kansan. Birney has been doing her Chautauqua-style performances of Amelia Earhart since 1995. In March of 2000 she became the first person to do an historical performance for the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where she was described as “what living history should be—accurate, natural, evocative, and accessible.”
Ride into History interprets several characters, two of which, Amelia Earhart and Calamity Jane, are integral to the myth of American individualism.