SCHWENKSVILLE, PA – Start your summer with a visit to Pennypacker Mills
for one of several performances sponsored by the Friends of Pennypacker Mills
. The Summer Porch Performances series is back with free, family-friendly events appropriate for all ages.
Americana Music performed by Tom Jolin
Saturday, May 22 at 4 p.m.
Musician Tom Jolin will play traditional Americana music, mixing vocals with the hammer dulcimer, banjo, button accordion, and harmonica. Jolin has been a solo performer since 1978, performing a mix of traditional Americana, old time songs and Civil War tunes. Jolin is a tribute performer with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
Alice Paul, Suffragette portrayed by Alisa Dupuy
Saturday, June 26 at 7 p.m.
Alice Paul was a vocal leader of the 20th century women’s suffrage movement. She advocated for and helped secure passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. While many women’s groups focused on state-by-state efforts, Alice Paul believed that lobbying Congress and working for a federal law was the answer. After large demonstrations in Washington, DC, and a thousand “Silent Sentinels,” picketing the White House for 18 months, President Woodrow Wilson announced his support for suffrage. After two years, women were granted the right to vote.
In a powerful first person performance, Alisa Dupuy, will portray Alice Paul. Dupuy began her performance career as a labor of love that grew out of a desire to study history, wear the fashions of different eras and bring history to life in a lively and fun way.
John Wanamaker, Merchant portrayed by Bob Gleason
Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m.
Have you ever heard, “Meet me at the Eagle!” The statue of the eagle has always been impressive and so was the store named for its founder, John Wanamaker. Come to Pennypacker Mills and enjoy actor Bob Gleason’s first person performance as John Wanamaker. Hear the story of a businessman who provided variety and fun for his customers and who was rewarded for his efforts. Wanamaker was a man who was civic-minded and charitable. He fostered a progressive relationship with his employees. He made it possible for them to go to school, and built a vacation amusement place for them to use on the weekends. The vacation spot housed the biggest organ in the world, which was built for the St. Louis Centennial Exposition and was played in his store. Wanamaker was a man who made a lot of money and tried to do good things with it.
Actor Bob Gleason was trained in theater by performing in 60+ productions at West Chester University. A member of the Army’s Special Services Chorus, he shared his four-octave vocal talents as a goodwill ambassador touring the U. S. and Germany. He portrays many historic characters through his affiliation with the American Historical Theater in Philadelphia.
Stacy Roth & Bob Dupre - Colonial Frolic
Saturday, August 14 at 4 p.m.
Pennypacker Mills is hosting performers Stacy Roth and Bob Dupre as they perform a colonial frolic on the mansion porch with a variety of songs and musical instruments in this family-oriented program. Roth and Dupre will present their favorite rhymes, riddles, rounds, and ditties from the 17th to early 19th centuries, with Dupre playing the guitar, fife, penny whistle, drum and limberjack. Kids will especially enjoy the interaction as the duo invites them to invent rhymes, answer riddles, and sing along, with clapping and jigging in place. What could be more fun than learning how to do Continental soldier facing movements to a drum?
Stacy Roth is a local historical interpreter and living historian who uses old songs and music to portray Revolutionary War heroines. She reenacts with Glover’s Marbleheaders and coordinates the Washington Crossing Fifes & Drums. She grew up around the kitchen table singing everything from vaudeville to folksongs.
Bob Dupre is a traditional folksinger who has entertained audiences for thirty years with his ballads, folksongs and sea chanties. Dupre enjoys music of the Revolutionary War because of its connection to family and culture. He has at least four ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.
For all events, attendees should bring a chair or blanket to sit on the lawn and watch the performances on the mansion porch. Masks and social distancing are required per CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. For more information, call (610) 287-9349 or email PennypackerMills@montcopa.org
Photos of all performers are available upon request.
About Pennypacker Mills
Looking for an interesting place to visit that’s close to home? Pennypacker Mills is the answer! This historic site is open year-round for free guided tours of the home of Pennsylvania Governor Samuel Pennypacker and his family. Known for its collection of 18th and 19th century decorative arts, furnishings, personal and official documents, the story of this famous Pennsylvania family reflects the lives of those who lived in Montgomery County in the early 1900’s.
Pennypacker Mills is open Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays: 1 to 4 p.m., with the last tour at 3 p.m. each day. The site is closed on Mondays and County holidays. Tours take approximately one hour and are free, with a suggested donation of $2 per person.