Stage 9's Annual Talking Tombstones Returns to Eastside Cemetery

Friday, October 19, 2018

Main News Photo


Hutchinson, KS - Stage 9 is proud to present its perennial Fall favorite, Talking Tombstones, on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 5:00pm and 8:00pm at Eastside Cemetery. Tours begin at Eastside Cemetery Mausoleum located at 500 S. Cleveland. 

This is Stage 9’s 12th year presenting Talking Tombstones and we are pleased to continue to provide this unique historical experience that Hutchinson has come to love and anticipate. As in previous years have provided, guides will lead patrons through the historical tombstones at Hutchinson’s Eastside Cemetery as actors bring personalities from the rich history of Reno County to life. Stage 9 is excited to offer this special evening featuring great Hutchinsonians from the past. The cast of characters is:

W. H. S. Benedict – A founding member of the Kansas State Fair and local grocery store owner. (Trent Poe)
Henrietta Briggs-Wall – Suffragette who fought for women’s right to vote. (Betty Taylor)
Col. Henry Hartford- Civil War Veteran and Reno County Sheriff. (Denton Warn)
Emmett Hutton and Charley Oswald- Owners and operators of American Steam Laundry. (Jordan Gajewski and Jackson Swearer)
Dr. Fred Soper- A scientist who knows there is a scientific solution to every problem. (Jason Probst)
Mrs. Martha Lulu Millar Johnson Sponsler- An able store clerk at Wiley-Rorabaugh Department Store who was lucky enough to find two men to love until her dying day.  (Dell Marie Shanahan Swearer)
Carl Orth- A Swedish immigrant who loved his family and stayed a whole man until the end. (Steve Snook)

Join us for a special one evening event where audience and characters meet in this resting place. All residents of the cemetery featured in this evening of monologues tell the personal story of their life as patrons travel from tombstone to tombstone in an atmosphere that will captivate history and theatre fans alike. We hope you will take the opportunity to see what many people consider our must-see performance of the year, which was featured in the Kansas! Travel magazine in 2016.

Talking Tombstones will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Eastside Cemetery, located across from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility on Severance Street. The two walking tours will take place at 5:00 p.m. and at 8:00 p.m. with each tour featuring all eight of the characters listed above.  Patrons are requested to check in at the mausoleum 10 to 15 minutes in advance of both the 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. performance.

The characters in the fundraiser are researched by former Reno County Genealogical Society member Rita Lingg throughout the year.  Lynsey Becher and Peggy Livingston, the directors of the event, utilize the information researched to audition actors, and assist in preparing their performances. This year we are pleased to have Jason Probst writing scripts.

If you have any questions, please contact Lynsey Becher, assistant to the Producing Artistic Director at Stage 9 via email at or phone at 620-665-0009. Stage 9 is located at 9 S. Main in downtown Hutchinson.

Tickets are $25 for general admission to the event. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at as well as at Apron Strings, located at the intersection of Sherman and Main Street in downtown Hutchinson. Patrons may also purchase tickets at the mausoleum thirty minutes prior to a performance.

For additional information about the audition or upcoming Stage 9 events, please contact Stage 9 by email at or by phone at 620-665-0009.

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Stage 9’s mission is to excite minds, move hearts, and change lives through theatrical performance, arts education, and live entertainment in Hutchinson, Reno County, and south central Kansas.  A 501(c)3 organization, Stage 9 strives to produce quality entertainment and provide opportunities for artistic expression, specifically focused on ages 18 and up.

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