News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 17, 2012

Actor to portray Ernie Pyle in one-man drama

Friends group museum fundraiser set for Saturday


Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Noted actor Rick Plummer and the Crosley Radio Players will team up to celebrate the life and times of renowned World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle in a special presentation Saturday at South Vermillion High School Auditorium in Clinton.

The fundraising event is sponsored and hosted by the Friends of Ernie Pyle, owner and operator of the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum in Dana, Pyle’s hometown. Proceeds will go toward continued operation of the museum.

The two-hour, two-part program will begin at 7 p.m. Plummer will open the evening’s entertainment with his one-man drama, “Live from the Front: Byline Ernie Pyle,” in which he portrays Pyle. Plummer, a 35-year veteran of the stage and professor of theater has been portraying Pyle in this show for many years.

Following Plummer will be the Crosley Radio Players, the popular Terre Haute-based troop which recreates the “Golden Age of Radio” with period-correct musical and theatrical presentations. The group’s emphasis will be on the 1940s. The Radio Players will keep patrons in the World War II time frame as they recreate episodes of “Command Performance,” and “Fibber McGee and Molly.”

The Players, made up from mostly local broadcasters, have a combined experience of more than 300 years.

“Command Performance,” which aired on Armed Forces Radio from 1942 until 1949 featured well-known artists of that day doing songs that were actually requested by GIs stationed all around the world. “Fibber McGee and Molly,” which enjoyed a 24-year run on NBC radio beginning in 1935, was one of the most beloved comedies ever broadcast. Reoccurring characters and jokes kept America howling with laughter through the depression and two wars.

Tickets are on sale for $10 at a number of Wabash Valley locations:

• Bank of Indiana, 129 Maple St., Dana

• Old National Bank, 407 S. Main St., Clinton

• First Financial Bank, 221 S. Main St., Clinton

• First Financial Bank, 100 W. Market St., Newport

• Stop Light Gas, Indiana 71, St. Bernice

• Old National Bank, 128 W. Ohio, Rockville

• First National Bank, 147 W. Monroe St., Chrisman Ill.

• The Tribune-Star, 222 S. Seventh St., Terre Haute

Tickets will also be available on the night of the event. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Ernie Pyle World War II Museum is the former Ernie Pyle State Historic Site. The State of Indiana turned over the property to the Friends organization in late 2011.

The site contains the home in which Pyle was born in 1900 and a museum dedicated to preserving his legacy as a war correspondent. The museum will re-open in May on weekends for the tourist season. Dana is located on Indiana 71 just north of U.S. 36 in Vermillion County.

“This is just another way the Friends of Ernie Pyle can help keep the Pyle legacy alive,” said Cynthia Myers, Friends president. “This entertaining program will help educate more people about Ernie’s special place in World War II history, and at the same time raise funds for the museum.”

South Vermillion High School, 770 W. Wildcat Dr., Clinton, is just west of Indiana 63.

For more information, contact Myers via email at president@erniepyle.org, by phone at (765) 665-3633, or visit the Friends’ museum website at www.erniepyle.org.