Chalberg Brings Branch Rickey to Life

News Release Date: 

Historic characterization comes to Morrill Hall Auditorium as part of Five Nights

The Ohio State University at Marion’s Five Nights on Campus cultural and performing arts series, in cooperation with Ohio Wesleyan University, is pleased to welcome Dr. John “Chuck” Chalberg to Morrill Hall Auditorium on the Marion campus, Thursday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.

Chalberg will bring to life Ohio native and one of major league baseball’s famed early pioneers, Branch Rickey. Branch Rickey may no longer be a household name, but he changed the face of America. Chalberg, a.k.a. Branch Rickey, will expound on any number of baseball and non-baseball topics, most importantly, his decision to sign Jackie Robinson to a Brooklyn Dodger contract.

This will be Chalberg’s third visit to The Ohio State University at Marion campus, first portraying publisher H.L. Mencken as part of the June 2004 Ohio Chautauqua statewide tour, and later as part of the 2006-2007 Five Nights on Campus series with his historical portrayal of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Branch Rickey was native son from Lucasville, Ohio, as well as a celebrated alumnus and two- sport athlete for Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, where he earned his Bachelor of Literature degree in less than four years. While on Ohio Wesleyan’s baseball team, as a player and student coach, he was an outspoken advocate for his black teammates being an equal and integrated part of the sport.

Chalberg is an actor and historian with a knack for capturing the essence of flamboyant historical characters. He has presented these insightful characterizations all over North America and in Eastern Europe. Chalberg delights audiences throughout the United States with his historical impersonations of American and British characters. His characterizations of Roosevelt and Mencken began as an extension of his teaching of American History at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.

In recent years he has added G.K. Chesterton, George Orwell, Branch Rickey, and most recently Bobby Jones, while reviving a past character, Huey Long. Last summer, he also revived his characterization of Patrick Henry for a chautauqua in Arkansas. Chalberg is attempting to bring to life several significant figures of the past. He has performed for state chautauquas all over the country, as well as for many colleges and business groups.

Ticket prices for “Branch Rickey” are $10 general admission, $9 for seniors, and $4 for students. There is no charge for children 5 years of age or younger. Marion campus faculty and staff, which includes all Ohio State Marion and Marion Technical College personnel, are eligible for $8 discounted individual performance tickets. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. For advance tickets or for more information contact Bronwen Babich, Ohio State Marion Office of Community Relations at 740-725-6341, or email:

Five Nights on Campus is a performing arts series designed specifically for the residents of the seven-county regional service area of Ohio State Marion and is intended to complement the other entertainment opportunities which are available in the area. The mission of Five Nights is to provide exceptional and diverse cultural and educational opportunities and to encourage the community to be a part of campus life. The series, which began in autumn 1995, is in its fifteenth year. This season offers an outstanding blend of talented national and international performers.

Five Nights on Campus is made possible by local community-minded businesses and organizations such as: Clear Channel Radio, Marion; Herald Printing; Marion Technical College; Whirlpool Corporation, Marion Division; the Warren Brown Family Foundation; and Wyandot, Inc.