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Entertainment
Stark Cultural Venues
News Release
Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two Evenings with Brian "Fox" Ellis:
Meet Charles Darwin and Prince Maximilian of Wied 

ORANGE, Texas - STARK Cultural Venues is proud to sponsor internationally-acclaimed author, naturalist, historian and performer Brian "Fox" Ellis as he brings to Orange performances about two famous 19th-century scholars: Charles Darwin and Maximilian, Prince of Wied.

On Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., Ellis will present Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center. On Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., Ellis will present Touring the Wilderness of North America: Prince Maximilian and Karl Bodmer at Lutcher Theater with a post-show reception at the Stark Museum of Art.

Since 1980, Ellis (http://foxtalesint.com) has been touring the world as a storyteller, researcher, historian, and naturalist who often speaks on environmental concerns at regional and international conferences, such as the International Wetlands Conservation Conference and the National Association of Gifted Educators Conference. He has worked with The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, The Field Museum and other museums across the country.

On Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., Ellis will be at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, for the evening of dramatic storytelling, stand-up comedy, and show and tell. Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea will transport the audience to the meeting of the Geological Society of London as young Darwin -- portrayed by Ellis -- talks about sailing around the world on HMS Beagle and the scientific evidence that led him to his revolutionary idea.

Admission to the Shangri La performance is free for STARK Cultural Venues Members at all levels of membership, with a charge of $5.00 per person for nonmembers. Space is limited and an RSVP is required, along with payment. This performance is the second in Shangri La's three-part Exploration and Discovery Lecture Series.

On Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m., visitors are invited to the world premiere of Touring the Wilderness of North America: Prince Maximilian and Karl Bodmer at Lutcher Theater,located at 707 Main Avenue in Orange, Texas. In this family-friendly performance, Ellis steps into the shoes of famous German scholar Maximilian, Prince of Wied, as he goes on a tour of North America from 1832-1834.

Using landscapes, portraits and scenes from everyday life painted by his traveling companion, Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, Prince Maximilian will escort the audience on an adventure from the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to the Great Falls of the Missouri River, and from New Harmony, Indiana to New Orleans, Louisiana. The text for this performance comes directly from Prince Maximilian's journals.

The Lutcher Theater performance will last approximately 75 minutes and will be presented without intermission. Doors to the Theater will open at 6:00 p.m. to allow for seating prior to the 6:30 p.m. performance. Admission is free for all STARK Cultural Venues Members at all levels of membership, with a charge of $8.00 per person for nonmembers. A reception will be held at the Stark Museum of Art after the performance for all those in attendance.

Ellis's performances Orange are organized in conjunction with the exhibition Tales and Travels, which is on view at the Stark Museum of Art through January 11, 2014. The exhibition showcases prints by Karl Bodmer as well as the first edition of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin.

"We are delighted to welcome Brian 'Fox' Ellis back to Orange," said Trina Nelson Thomas, Director of Stark Art and History Venues. "He captivated the imagination of people of all ages during his Audubon presentations in 2011. Now we will have the opportunity to be the first audience to see his new performance, which draws upon the North American journey of Prince Maximilian and artist Karl Bodmer.

In addition to the evening performances at Shangri La and Lutcher Theater, Brian "Fox" Ellis also will present storytelling tours for elementary school students, Tales and Trails: Journeys through History and the Imagination, at the Stark Museum on Wednesday, November 6.

Thomas noted, "This also is a chance to bring the public's attention to the rarely-seen objects in the Stark Museum's collection - the exquisitely-executed prints by Bodmer and the first edition of Darwin's groundbreaking book."

For more information about Charles Darwin and His Revolutionary Idea, call 409.670.9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org. For more information on Touring the Wilderness of North America: Prince Maximilian and Karl Bodmer, call 409.886.ARTS (2787) or visit www.starkmuseum.org.


Brian "Fox" Ellis portraying Charles Darwin.

 
Brian "Fox" Ellis has also performed historical character reenactment offerings such as Mathias Stritt shown above. Photo courtesy of ilhumanities.      

About STARK Cultural Venues

Stark Museum of Art, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, The W.H. Stark House and Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts are venues of the STARK Cultural Venues of Orange, Texas that provide significant resources for the study and enjoyment of art, nature, history and culture.

STARK Cultural Venues is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private operating foundation that aims to encourage and assist education and to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas.

The Stark Museum of Art is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The W.H. Stark House is located at 610 W. Main Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., with the last tour beginning at 4:00 p.m. Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is located at 2111 W. Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.starkculturalvenues.org  or follow us by becoming a fan and 'Liking' each venue's Facebook page.

General admission to the Stark Museum, Stark House and Shangri La is free for STARK Cultural Venues members and their guests, subject to membership level. Admission fees to each venue for all others (as applicable) are $6.00 for adults; $5.00 for seniors (age 65 and up), students (with ID), and youth (age 10-17); $2.00 for children (age 4-9); and free for toddlers (age 3 and under). Group tours are available by advanced registration. Outpost tours are offered at Shangri La and require a separate fee. Outpost tours welcome participants who are at least 4 years of age and older. The W.H. Stark House offers complete Stark House tours to visitors who are at least 10 years of age or older.





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