Now that the elections are over and the nation has decided on a president for the next four years, it's a good time to step back and learn about four of the most influential presidents in American history.

The living history presentation "A News Conference with the Rushmore Presidents" will bring the four presidents etched in stone at the national monument in South Dakota out of the past and into the Eichelberger Performing Arts Center Saturday evening.

Actors portraying presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt will give individual speeches about their times in office, then collectively will answer questions and interact with the audience.

"If you let yourself go, you can start believing they are the real presidents," said Bob Channell, organizer for the Exchange Club of Hanover, which is sponsoring the event.

"The men who portray the four presidents are all professional actors, as well as historians who have studied their character extensively. They actually live the part," he said.

"It's a good opportunity for people to come out and learn about our history," said Ray Black, of the Exchange Club.

The interactive historical program features actors known for their portrayals of the four presidents carved into Mount Rushmore, which was created by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his son in the 1930s. The presidents tour the country, educating and entertaining thousands each year.


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Actors Dean Malissa, William Barker, James Foote, and local historian James Getty will play the parts of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, respectively.

Channell has participated in two previous Rushmore events. He will portray President Ulysses S. Grant during the show and will introduce Lincoln.

Channell was asked to introduce Lincoln for a Rushmore Presidents show for the Port Angelus Washington Exchange Club and was so impressed he brought the show to Hanover in 2009.

That presentation was at South Western High School. This time, the club has coordinated with the Eichelberger Center, which offers a larger venue and assistance with ticket sales.

"It gives it a little more class too," Channell said.

Proceeds from the show benefit the Exchange Club's education scholarship program.