On John Wayne’s 105th birthday, May 26, local actor Dan Hornak will be performing at the Earle Theatre in “An Evening with the Duke — The Life and Legend of John Wayne.”
Hornak will be playing Jake Thorne, who tells John Wayne’s story in three parts. He tells of the time when Wayne just started acting and then he shifts to the prime of his career. The last act focuses on the end of Wayne’s life.
Hornak started doing the one-man John Wayne play in 2010. He started acting in 2009 at the Cherry Orchard Theater owned by Frank Levering in a play called, “It happened on the Blue Ridge Parkway.” He said Levering urged him to write a play about John Wayne in 2010.
Just recently, Hornak met John Wayne’s sons and daughter at an auction. He also visited his grave and took a tour of his yacht.
Hornak said he will give the proceeds from this show to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.
He said this play is for those who love John Wayne.
“Hopefully this will change how people feel about John. This will help them feel closer to him. Everybody has a different view of John Wayne. He was a great American. He loved America. Everybody wants to be John Wayne and he wanted to be everybody,” said Hornak.
Hornak said he was drawn to John Wayne because he was a good person.
“As a kid, in my generation, I thought he was really cool. Everyone knows his voice. I found out in researching that he was a really good guy. He was a real person. He wasn’t perfect,” said Hornak.
Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council, said this play is well-loved and Hornak is a pleasure to watch.
“It is great to support a local actor who honestly looks and sounds like John Wayne,” said Tanya Jones, executive director of the Surry Arts Council.
The show will be at the Earle at 7 p.m. and the admission price is $10 for general admission, and $15 for reserved seating.
John Wayne’s classic movie “Rio Bravo” will be shown at the Earle that same day at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are $5.
For more information, call the Surry Arts Council at 786-7998.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.