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Spirit Voices from Old Manatee

This historical, graveside drama is entering its seventh season this fall. The popular special event is a key fundraiser benefiting public programming and preservation projects at Manatee Village Historical Park.

Public performances will be presented on the evenings of: October 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, and 22. Tickets go on sale to the public on Tuesday, September 5, 2017. 

Spirit Voices, Season VII

Tour the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds by torchlight... 

Spirit Voices from Old Manatee is an outdoor historical drama and cemetery tour. The show opens with a Victorian wake held in the 1887 Church. As the story develops, cast and audience continue to "the other side" for a torch-lit tour of the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds as the sun sets. Here, costumed thespians bring to life early pioneers of the Village of Manatee, veteran soldiers from the Seminole and Civil Wars, and other persons of interest in this area. These riveting graveside stories are based on narratives from archives, oral histories, diaries, military logs, books, and legend.  

Spirit Voices from Old Manatee premiered in 2011 as an original living history production. Through this program, the Manatee County Historical Commission fulfills its mission to “preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County’s founding period,” by offering visitors stories from this area's pioneer era.


Creative Director Wanted

The Creative Director will work alongside Manatee Village staff to develop creative staging, coach volunteer actors on characterization of historical figures, and improve vocal projection in an outdoor setting. Manatee Village staff will provide costumes, tour logistics, and designate a Stage Manager. 

The purpose of this production is to support historic preservation efforts and to promote history education in our community. Because this is a fundraiser, in conjunction with their in-kind services, a small stipend of $750 is provided to the Creative Director. 

Applications accepted from June 1-July 1, 2017: Application for Spirit Voices Director 2017.pdf

Download an informational packet here: Spirit Voices Creative Director Wanted 2017.pdf

Actor Auditions

Auditions will take place on July 23 and 24, 2017 from 5:00-7:00pm at Manatee Village Historical Park.

If you have any questions please contact Manatee Village staff at (941) 749-7165.

Rehearsal Schedule

  • August 14 – All Cast read-through at Manatee Village Historical Park from 6:30-8:00pm.

  • August 21 through September 28 – Individual and/or group rehearsals are held at Manatee Village Historical Park from 6:30-8:30 Monday-Thursday. Creative Director/ Show Manager must attend all rehearsals.

  • October 1 – Tech and dress rehearsal in cemetery and church starting at 9:30am.

  • October 3 – Full dress rehearsal of the church performance in the 1887 Church.

  • October 4 – Full dress rehearsal of the graveyard performance in the Manatee Burying Grounds.

Performance Schedule

  • First weekend Friday, October 6 (opening night/full moon performance); and Saturday, October 7
  • Second weekend: Thursday, October 12; Friday, October 13; Saturday, October 14; and Sunday, October 15
  • Third weekend: Thursday, October 19; Friday, October 20; Saturday, October 21; Sunday, October 22 (closing night in the historic church)
  • Location Map


    Village Hours

    Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Second and fourth Saturdays, 9am to 4pm. Manatee Village is closed for public holidays and their corresponding weekends.


    1404 Manatee Avenue East 
    (SR 64)
    Bradenton, FL. 34208



    Village Hours

    Monday – Friday and 2nd & 4th Saturdays of each month 

    9:00am – 4:00pm

    Manatee Village will be closed Tuesday, May 2nd for an In Service Work Day.