Doug Mishler

Bio:

Over the last twenty years, Chautauqua scholar Doug Mishler has become nationally recognized for bringing “history to life.” In addition to his latest Chautauqua characters, Jack Warner and D. W. Griffith, Doug has presented P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, General Stonewall Jackson, and 14 other historical figures in Chautauquas all over the country. Doug has a Ph.D. in American cultural history from the University of Nevada, Reno and, when he is not on the road, he is either directing or acting in plays or teaching American history.

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Presentations:

Chautauqua – Andrew Carnegie
Chautauqua – Billy Sunday
Chautauqua – D.W. Griffith
Chautauqua – Ernie Pyle
Chautauqua – George C. Wallace
Chautauqua – Henry Ford
Chautauqua – Jack Warner
Chautauqua – Jefferson Davis
Chautauqua – P.T. Barnum
Chautauqua – Stonewall Jackson
Chautauqua – Theodore Roosevelt
Chautauqua – Thomas Hart Benton
Chautauqua – William Clark
Chautauqua – William Lloyd Garrison


CHAUTAUQUA – ANDREW CARNEGIE

The soft spoken Carnegie is the father of American philanthropy, the patron of 3,000 free public libraries, and a central feature in American culture. Mr. Carnegie offers wisdom gleaned from his classic rags-to-riches story; arriving in America from Scotland destitute aged just 10; by 21, he was already fairly wealthy; and by 50, he was one of the richest men in the world. He explains why, at the height of his wealth and power, he sold everything in order to give back to his adopted land by funding dozens of universities and endowments for teachers, as well as building schools, churches, and, of course, libraries. He details his ideal of the “Gospel of Wealth” and the duty of the rich to use their money as he did to create a better world for all people. Andrew is a wise and surprisingly quite devilishly funny man.

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Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua


CHAUTAUQUA – BILLY SUNDAY

Join Reverend Sunday in his crusade against the evils and backsliding of 1920s America. Billy works audiences into a frenzy with his charismatic personality. He runs, jumps, plays baseball, and does whatever it takes to lead America back to the righteous path and away from the evils of drink, dancing, fast cars, short skirts, movies, Darwinism, and the failings of men and women who seek hedonism over spirituality. In this presentation, we encounter a crucial time in America - a social and cultural crossroads - as Sunday’s traditional rural values wrestle with modern urban values for the soul of America.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua


CHAUTAUQUA – D.W. GRIFFITH

Often called “the man who invented Hollywood,” D.W. Griffith is the inventor of almost every film technique we see on screen today. Orson Wells, no less, called him “the father of us all.” We join D.W. on the set of his second talking picture as he recounts stories of the early days of film when he and his actors and cameramen literally created an art form out of nothing. D.W. tells us the secrets about the people and the events that transformed film from six minute peep-show curiosities to three hour cultural epics. He also discusses the greatest film of all time and the greatest controversy ever in film: his amazing work The Birth of a Nation. His is a funny, complex and wondrous story about the early years creating our nation’s most important art form.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Film


CHAUTAUQUA – ERNIE PYLE

On the eve of battle for a tiny Island in the Pacific, we find Ernie Pyle, a giant of a man who created the bottom-up view in journalism. Ernie details what he calls “a worm’s eye view of war.” His reports from the front during World War II are full of the life and pain of ordinary men. Because his writings make the war’s dirt, hardships, and heroism palpable and real, he is now so beloved he is hounded by crowds at home. A tortured man who hates war, he tells stories of great humanity in the worst of conditions. He also recounts stories of the “Greatest Generation” at home during the Depression which he collected while travelling seven times across America in his car. His is a remarkably moving story of America at its best.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Media


CHAUTAUQUA – GEORGE C. WALLACE

Yes, George C. Wallace - that fire breathing Governor of Alabama - comes to tell the truth about his life, warts and all. Wallace clarifies his founding principle that due to his impoverished youth, he always identified with the common people, both black and white. Even when he stood in the school house door, he was standing for the rights of all southerners against the power mad northern elites. He details his runs for the Presidency and trying to give voice to the common man nationally. He clarifies that his time as governor was less about hate for blacks than giving both black and white southerners more schools, roads, and jobs, than any southern governor of any generation. This is a complex portrait of an amazingly difficult man to understand. Come decide if he is a saint or Satan, or something in between.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Politics


CHAUTAUQUA – HENRY FORD

Come meet the never humble, though poorly educated, revolutionary who transformed America. Henry not only put America on wheels, he completely altered American society and culture. He may not be an easy man to love but he is impossible to ignore. His monomania to develop the motorcar made him tough, hard, and uncompromising. His often 20 hour days resulted in the model T and Ford Motor Company. His insistence on mass production transformed the world’s industrial ethos to a focus on lower prices and better goods. His revolutionary $4 day turned the working class into consumers. Arguably he is one of the greatest agents of cultural change in world history. Come and meet this amazingly intriguing man who changed the world and then hated the changes.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Economics


CHAUTAUQUA – JACK WARNER

The clown prince of Hollywood, as he was often called, Jack Warner was anything but a clown. In fact, he was an incredibly complex man whose penchant for bad jokes and puns were almost as famous as the movies he made. Those movies ran the gamut, and included such diverse creations as The Jazz Singer, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, as well as My Fair Lady and Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe. He worked with all the great stars of cinema’s golden era, from Cagney to Bogart to Davis, and had titanic fights with all of them. His career with his brothers (whom he also had gargantuan fallouts) spanned silent shorts through perfecting sound films, to 60s grit, and always with the tough realism that was the Warner treatment.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Film


CHAUTAUQUA – JEFFERSON DAVIS

Davis arrives late in his life to reflect on how, though he is often described as a traitor to his country, he views himself as a patriot. Davis offers stories from his experiences as a four term Senator, Mexican-American war hero, West Point Graduate, and Secretary of War. He explains how he then suddenly found himself the most hated man in America as the President of the Confederate States. He fervently stands by his belief that he did not become a traitor, but that rather he and the south were betrayed. His passionate presentation addresses this betrayal, as well as slavery (he was a “kind” slave owner), and his memories of “that awful war”, as well as what happened after the war to the south and to himself. People never forget this evening as it confronts still festering issues of rights in American democracy.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Politics


CHAUTAUQUA – P.T. BARNUM

Come and meet “The Great Barnum”, or, as he modestly labeled himself, “the sun of the amusement world from which all lesser luminaries borrow light.” P.T. is a grand presence and his wondrously fractured tales, gathered during his 50 years of humbug and showmanship, are both educational and amusing. His stories of mermaids, dwarfs, and circuses uncover the heart and soul of 19th century American culture. But they don’t only serve to entertain - his many adventures spent “edifying” the people made him fabulously wealthy, thanks to his amazing understanding of the American character. There is no one like the great Barnum for learning more about who we are as a people, and where we came from.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Performing Arts


CHAUTAUQUA – STONEWALL JACKSON

Stonewall is arguably the most interesting military man of the Civil War. He shall of course recount his many battles from the Shenandoah to Chancellorsville, but he offers much more than simple military history, Jackson also gives us a glimpse into the physical and psychic costs of a bloody civil war. In peaceful times, he is devoutly religious and gentle, he is devoted to children and the equality of blacks. Yet when at war, he fights with skill and a no-holds passionate intensity—some call him blood thirsty. His story betrays the era’s irony, such as his belief that the Sabbath was so sacred nothing else could be done that day but worship, but his most ferocious battles all came on Sundays. This is an amazing portrait of what that war did to America’s collective soul.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua


CHAUTAUQUA - THEODORE ROOSEVELT

Be prepared to meet the man whom one critic called “a primal force of nature created by God”. Theodore can tailor his presentations to suit all occasions, given that he has so many interests and adventures, he can tell stories for days. Each presentation offers an encounter with a man who couples a remarkable intellect with vibrant humanity and a cowboy-like, larger-than-life persona. TR discusses his outdoor adventures exploring and hunting, his many varied political careers, the events and decisions of his Presidency (and what it means to be a leader), as well as his experiences as a Rough Rider, environmentalist, and progressive reformer. And within each and every story, he tells us what it means to be a real American! TR is the most fascinating, compelling, profound, and - yes - even funny character going today. He is the best of all of us.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Politics


CHAUTAUQUA – THOMAS HART BENTON

The irascible artist welcomes you to his painting studio to talk about the state of American art and the character of the American people. This funny and very colorful man portrays art as a divine passion. He helps us understand the artistic mind and the artist’s drive to keep working to capture the essence of the American spirit. He recounts how his lengthy career progressed from French impressionism in 1900, all the way through regionalism in the 1930s, to the modern art of his protégée Jackson Pollock in the 1950s. Yet it is never just art with old Tom Benton, there are stories of hard living, of fights with critics and artists, of merry escapades as a true bohemian, and, of course, all those stories from his years on the road drawing the American scene. He is truly a stereotypical “mad” artist.

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Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Fine Arts


CHAUTAUQUA – WILLIAM CLARK

Co-leader of the famous Corps of Discovery which explored the Louisiana Purchase, William Clark offers a million stories of his trip with Lewis into America’s western wilderness in 1803. He offers insights into the hardships the Corps overcame, the luck and skill they displayed, the danger they surmounted, and the hopes that drove all of them to work so hard for their new nation. Come share their struggles and triumphs and meet not only Clark, but Lewis, Sacagawea, York, Charbonneau, and the rest of that hearty group. Clark also discusses his many years of government service after the expedition as Louisiana’s territorial governor in a changing America, as well as his experiences as the most important Indian agent in American history.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua


CHAUTAUQUA – WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON

Meet William Lloyd Garrison - a man trying to turn the world upside down. Over the last 30 years, this fierce newspaperman has become notorious for his passionate attacks on the institution of slavery. Never at a loss for words of outrage, Garrison condemns not only the wicked south for owning slaves, but also any northerners who condone it—meaning essentially everyone not as fiery as he, even his friend Frederick Douglass. For his scathing editorials, Garrison is under death threat from the south and is only slightly less despised in the north. Garrison, though, remains unbowed and focused in his unique belief that blacks are equal to whites in their rights. As a reformer, he is no less hated for his ardent feminism and his insistence that women must enjoy the same privileges as men.

Photo Credit:

Appropriate Audience: Can be tailored for all ages.

Duration: 1-2 hours. Please discuss the appropriate length for your organization with the Presenter.

Presenter Requirements:

  • Chair and table
  • Wireless microphone if room/audience very large

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Chautauqua, Media