Concord University Theatre’s American Heroes Offering Living History Veterans Day Salute

ATHENS, W.Va. – Celebrate Veterans Day with a performance of American Heroes. Concord University Theatre Department will present living history performances on Wednesday, Nov. 11th at 7 p.m. featuring World War II pilot Lt. Charles Brown and beloved TV figure Mr. Fred Rogers. The performances will be hosted on the virtual meeting platform, Zoom.

The upcoming Veterans Day performances are the second installment in a series featuring student-written and performed historical characters. The series will conclude on Nov. 18th at 7 p.m. with performances of Doris Day and Tammy Wynette. Admission is free, and the general public is invited to join the Concord community in viewing the performances.  The Zoom meeting ID is 923 2892 2540.

Living history is a unique style of performance that combines storytelling, solid academic research and performance techniques. These student performances are a result of a class taught by Instructor Karen Vuranch. Vuranch, who has made a career of these kinds of presentations, states, “Living history is especially appropriate as an academic class.  Students conduct in-depth research and create a monologue and character.” 

She went on to say that living history, also known as Chautauqua, consists of three parts.  First, the scholar/actor performs a monologue based on his or her research. Then the audience has the opportunity to ask questions of the historical character. Finally, the scholar/actor breaks character and answers questions from a contemporary point of view. In this part, they can discuss when and how the character died and what legacy they left.

The program on Nov. 11th is appropriate for Veterans Day and is entitled American Heroes. It will feature Fred Rogers, played by Trevor Darago, and Charles Brown, played by Ross Cline.  Darago, of Rock, W.Va., will bring to life the much admired Fred Rogers.  Known professionally as Mr. Rogers, he pioneered educational television for children in his inimitable style of kindness and gentleness.

Also that evening, Ross Cline of Beckley, W.Va. will create the character of a West Virginia born WWII pilot, Lt. Charles Brown.  Brown, of Weston, W.Va. had a remarkable experience in the war in Europe in which an enemy pilot saved his life. As Charles Brown, Ross will tell this touching story of how peace can be achieved in times of war.

The first performance in this series took place on Oct. 28th. Tales of the Macabre, featured authors Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley as well as serial killer “Jolly Jane” Toppan. 

The third and final show in the series, Legends of Song, will feature Hannah Puckett as Tammy Wynette and Karissa Bowden as Doris Day.  

“I am so proud of all of my students. In fact, if a school or organization would like to bring one or more of these presentations to their own audience, we can easily arrange a Zoom performance for you.”  

Karen Vuranch

The Zoom software is free and easy to download.  Just go to and click on Join a Meeting and enter the meeting ID, 923-2892- 2540. If you would prefer to have a link emailed to you or for more information or to arrange a performance for your group, call 304-384-5259 or email Karen Vuranch at

Ross Cline as WWII pilot, Lt. Charles Brown
Fred Rogers played by Trevor Darago

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086 if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

This press release was written by Concord University student, Trevor Darago.


Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

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