The Effingham County Museum invites the public to join them on Saturday, Oct. 19, for a performance featuring Abraham Lincoln (portrayed by George Buss) and political opponent Stephen A. Douglas (portrayed by Tim Connors) as they take the audience back to their famous debates over slavery and equality in the 1858 U.S. Senate campaign in Illinois.
The performance is at 2 p.m. on the second floor of the Effingham County Museum, 110 E. Jefferson Avenue, Effingham.
The audience will return to the Great Debates of 1858 with actor-interpreters who bring a lot of experience to the performance. Buss has portrayed Lincoln for 30 years at venues across the country. Connors has performed as Douglas for a decade, appearing at all seven original debate sites as Illinois celebrated the sesquicentennial of the debates.
The two performers have received much acclaim through the years. The audience will believe that George Buss is Abraham Lincoln. Just as Lincoln was 6 foot, 4 inches tall, and weighed between 160 and 180 pounds, Buss has the same linear build. Buss has interpreted Abraham Lincoln for thousands of audiences across the United States, appearing on C-Span and at the Lincoln Forum, Mariners Museum and American Queen Steamship Company. One of his longtime friends said of Buss: “He is a national treasure.” Another said, “When George Buss steps in front of an audience, they immediately feel like Abraham Lincoln has joined them. A major talent.”
Similarly, those who attend the debate will feel that Lincoln’s original debate opponent has returned to the State of Illinois, as they watch Tim Connors portray “The Little Giant.” Connors has performed as Stephen Douglas around the country, including The Harold Washington Library in Chicago, The Gerald Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Connors is a faculty member of the Freeport, Illinois, school district and has taught theater and speech for 28 years.
There is no admission charge. However, a $5 donation is suggested.