For over 40 years, award winning actor, musician, educator and writer Earl Bates has been performing on stage and screen all across the country. Will Rogers in the 21st Century takes a wry look at our world through the bewildered eyes of beloved cowboy philosopher Will Rogers. More than eighty years after his tragic plane crash, Will (Bates) finds himself in YOUR town in the PRESENT DAY as he time travels through America’s pop culture. Using classic and familiar songs to illustrate his points, he recalls the Vaudeville past, pokes fun at the present and hopes for the future. Bates combines pre-recorded music with simple props, rope tricks, Broadway song and dance, guitar, harmonica and audience participation to concoct an event that’s entertaining, informative, thought-provoking and heart-warming. This versatile program is as successful in American Studies classrooms as it is on concert stages and allows for possible inclusion of local personalities, events and issues.
Bates has hosted the Acoustic Jam and played guitar at various clubs and in concerts for over 35 years. Among many theatrical honors, he received T.A.G.‘s Best Actor in a Musical award for his performance in Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of The Will Roger’s Follies. Many on-camera television and screen credits trail his name, including Omaha… the movie and Miracle of the Heart: a Boys Town Story.
Technical requirements: Show is adaptable to nearly any venue. Ideally, venue will include a well-lit 12' x 12' performance area (smooth floor preferred), easy access to audience and two 110 electrical outlets. Artist can provide a simple sound system for an audience of up to 150; larger venues may require sponsor to provide wireless body mic. A short video intro is available to venues with compatible projector. All CDC Covid-19 safety guides must be followed.
Maximum negotiable fee: $1,000 plus lodging
Availability: No travel limitations or schedule restrictions at this time.