Sunday, February 14, 2010

DICKENS IN OHIO March 18th, 2010


The Piqua Historical Area Friends Council and the Piqua Public Library will present the public premier of "Dickens in Ohio" by veteran actor Roger Jerome on Thursday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Piqua Plaza on the Square, William McKinley Ballroom, 308 North Main St.

The most famous living writer of his time, Charles Dickens visited several cities in Ohio in 1842 and met Col. John Johnston, whose farm is part of the Johnston Farm Historic Site in Piqua. The meeting with Johnston, and others he met during his travels in Ohio, is portrayed in the virtuoso performance of humorous stories, impressions and period music.

Tickets are $25 each and include a dessert reception and beverages. Reservations can be made by calling 800.752.2619 or 937.773.2522. Proceeds will benefit the Johnston Farm Historic Site. Other sponsors include the Miami County Convention & Visitor Bureau, Comfort Inn in Piqua and Eagle Printing & Graphics.

"This will be a wonderful event for our area for all who love our history and all who have enjoyed the many works of Charles Dickens," said Margaret French, chair of the development committee of the Piqua Friends Council. "Roger Jerome as Dickens provides an entertaining and absolutely fascinating glimpse of Ohio shortly after it celebrated its 30th year as a state."

The Friends Council has also arranged for Mr. Jerome to present his program to students at Piqua High School on March 19. A native of England and resident of Ohio, Mr. Jerome is a veteran presenter of Dickens’ works and has performed in a variety of venues throughout the country. He is a member of the Dickens Fellowship.

Dickens called Ohio "all that America had been, is and would be" following his month-long visit in April 1842 to Cincinnati, Lebanon, Columbus, Upper Sandusky, Tiffin, Sandusky and Cleveland. Generally considered the greatest English author of the Victorian period, Charles Dickens wrote several books that are still considered "required reading" today, including A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and the Pickwick Papers.

John Johnston was a farmer, public official and United States Indian agent for western Ohio from 1812-1829. His farm is the centerpiece of the Johnston Farm Historic Site, which also includes the Johnston home and out-buildings, a museum with exhibits that trace the story of the Eastern Woodland Indians of Ohio and Ohio’s canal area, a restored portion of the Miami and Erie Canal, and a replica of the General Harrison of Piqua, a 70-foot-long mixed cargo canal boat. The site is administered by The Ohio Historical Society and the Friends Council is the primary support group.

For additional information about "Dickens in Ohio" and/or the Piqua Historical Area, please call Andy Hite, site manager, at 800.752.2619 or 937.773.2522 or

Dickens in Ohio is co-sponsored by the Piqua Historical Area Friends Council and the Piqua Public Library, in cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society

Roger Jerome's image courtesy of Mr. Jerome. The above text was composed by Scott Mueller of The Piqua Historical Area Friends Council

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