Experienced actor cast in lead role in Buck Creek Players’ ‘A Few Good Men’

H_1Conner Prairie interpreter Jay Hemphill (second from left) has been cast in the leading role of Buck Creek Players’ “A Few Good Men.”

By Katie Arnold
Communications Specialist

Jay Hemphill’s life changed after he discovered acting in the fifth grade. “I was very lucky to have some amazing teachers who saw something in me and fostered my talents,” he said.

As a professional actor, he has toured with a children’s theater company, worked regional summer stock and hosted a home renovation show in Louisville. Last October, he played Dr. Frank-n-Furter in a local revival of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Hemphill, who works as an interpreter at Conner Prairie, has been cast in Buck Creek Players’ upcoming revival of “A Few Good Men.” Written by Aaron Sorkin, the play is based upon the events that occurred at Guantanamo Bay in 1986, telling the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, two U.S. Marines accused of murder. Continue reading

Free admission for guests living with autism, sensory or development challenges April 11

Conner Prairie will open its grounds one hour early April 11 and offer free admission for guests living with autism and sensory or developmental challenges and their families.

As part of Autism Awareness Month, the park will be open from 9-10 a.m., an early opening designed to allow those with sensory challenges to enjoy a quieter experience at Conner Prairie. Guests must arrive between 9-10 a.m. to receive free admission but can stay as long as they choose up until the park closes at 5 p.m. Continue reading

New balloon, exhibit, PBS Kids star usher in new outdoor season at Conner Prairie

0323_blogOpening day is Thursday. Our outdoor grounds, including our Animal Encounters barn, open at 10 a.m.

Staff Report
We’re set for opening day Thursday when we’ll debut our new helium balloon and balloon exhibit to the public. And this weekend, we’ll also host a popular PBS Kids character who is simply crazy about science.

Everything’s new about our 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit. Visitors will learn more about John Wise’s historic flight during which he intended to deliver mail by balloon from Lafayette to New York City. Though winds blew him the wrong way and he was forced to land in Crawfordsville, his flight was deemed the first successful delivery of mail by air in the U.S. There are interactive storefronts – a dry goods store, a pharmacy and a photography gallery, all resembling what stores on the square would be like in downtown Lafayette back in 1859. There’s also a new gasworks experience where visitors can learn the science behind what it takes for a balloon such as ours to fly. Continue reading

Time lapse video shows work of volunteers helping inflate new Conner Prairie balloon

This time lapse video shows volunteers helping to inflate Conner Prairie’s new tethered helium balloon, which if weather permits will start giving flights over the prairie on Opening Day March 26.

Staff Report
We’d like to share a neat time lapse photo showing the hard work of more than 70 volunteers and the crew of French manufacturer Aerophile as all worked Wednesday to inflate Conner Prairie’s new balloon, part of a new 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit that opens March 26. The inflation took just under six hours.

Since 2009, nearly 91,500 visitors have experienced the 15-minute flight in the 140-foot tethered helium balloon that takes them 350 feet above the prairie in a gondola. Continue reading

Check out some images of Wednesday’s new balloon inflation

Check out some images from the inflation of our new balloon earlier this week. We’ve posted even more on Flickr, including some images from a drone. If the weather cooperates, flights start Thursday when Conner Prairie opens its 2015 outdoor season.