Monday, January 15, 2024

Marla Matkin in St. Francis and Surrounding Areas

Marla Matkin, Hill City, Kan., an independent humanities scholar and performer, will present “Women on the Trail,” Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. at the St. Francis High School Auditorium.

Admission to the Western Plains Arts Association program is by season ticket or adults $10 and students $5 at the door. In addition to numerous business, individual and foundation funding, The Dane G. Hansen Foundation is a major financial contributor.

She will provide two elementary programs on the state’s 163rd (1861) statehood anniversary, Monday, Jan. 29, to St. Francis students in the morning and to Rawlins County (Atwood) students in the afternoon.

Matkin comes by her love of history having been born in Dodge City and raised nearby.  She is on a continuing search to expand her knowledge and understanding of the legend and lore surrounding the region and its people. This deep connection can be traced back to her great-grandparents who homesteaded in southwest Kansas in 1877. Add to this her love of drama and she makes a compelling case for the ladies she portrays and the history she imparts as teacher, historian, living historian and now children’s author.

A graduate of Fort Hays State University with a degree in education she has informed, inspired as well as entertained her audiences for 25 years from the heartland to the Smithsonian.

In addition to Women on the Trail, Matkin presents related programs to communities throughout America’s heartland, especially in Kansas and Nebraska: 

 19th Century Fun, Farces and Frivolities takes a unique look at the social activities, entertainments and recreations enjoyed by the folks of the 19th century.

Libbie’s Story, a Chautauqua-style program about Elizabeth Bacon Custer, the wife of Gen. George Armstrong Custer. 

Cattle Towns and Soiled Doves, Possessing a twinkle in her eye and a tantalizing sense of humor, the Contessa is in rare form as she deftly transports you to the frontier of cow towns, painted ladies and the riveting characters that strode the streets and rode the range. 

Frontier Military Posts (and the women who called them home) introduces audiences to the lives and times of these extraordinary women. The program explores different classes of women on post, their day-to-day routines, their social interactions and, on a more personal note, how they functioned under Victorian and military constraints.

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