Georgia

Silent Film Comedy: History, Music and Laughter on Georgia’s Jekyll Island

Program No. 24844RJ
Experience the past, from music to film to accommodation by exploring the history of silent film comedy in the Gilded Age splendor of Jekyll Island.

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At a Glance

Spend a week laughing while learning about the history of silent film comedy with one of the country’s leading authorities. Explore the stories, triumphs and heartbreaks of ground-breaking comedians like Fatty Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy. Enjoy the thrill of car chases, stunts, suspense, and romance underscored by live, improvised musical accompaniment. With a private meeting room in the famous Jekyll Island Club, the lavish resort that shared its heyday with the silent film era, travel back in time with early 20th-century film, music, comedy and surroundings.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Walking up to a half-mile on the beach for the marsh walk, getting on/off a van for the beach walk and trolley excursion. Some stairs.

What You'll Learn

  • Discover the history of the extravagant Jekyll Island Club Hotel, formerly one of the most exclusive clubs in America with Morgans, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts among its members.
  • Learn from our silent film comedy expert, an internationally acclaimed artist and performer of popular turn-of-the-century music.
  • Experience Jekyll Island, one of Georgia’s southernmost barrier islands, by boat and by foot and discover its unique, pristine coastal ecosystem with a local naturalist and expert mariners.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Jeff Barnhart
Jeff Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, ASCAP composer, educator and entertainer. Jeff began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in Connecticut. In addition, he has lead two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s. Jeff enjoys performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his wife, Anne Barnhart.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of JoAnn Buisson
JoAnn Buisson View biography
JoAnn Buisson is a retired elementary school teacher from Boston, Mass. After college, she was employed as a nursery school teacher until 1981. She remained at home until 1994 in order to raise her children. In 1994, JoAnn accepted a position with a local elementary school as an art teacher, eventually retiring in 2014. Upon retirement, she moved to Jekyll Island with her husband. She continues her interest in the arts, taking several classes in pottery.
Profile Image of Jeff Barnhart
Jeff Barnhart View biography
Jeff Barnhart is an internationally renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, recording artist, ASCAP composer, educator and entertainer. Jeff began his professional career at age 14 playing and entertaining four nights a week in a restaurant in Connecticut. In addition, he has lead two bands in the UK: the Fryer-Barnhart International Jazz Band and Jeff Barnhart’s British Band, which performs small group swing of the 30’s. Jeff enjoys performing with smaller groups, most notably Ivory&Gold®, a group he co-leads with his wife, Anne Barnhart.
Profile Image of Anne Barnhart
Anne Barnhart View biography
Anne Barnhart is a flutist and vocalist who has musical experiences with Ivory&Gold® have taken her around the world. Her performances have been enjoyed from coast to coast in the US and abroad the world. When she is onstage, audiences are dazzled by her technique, awed by her tone and enthralled with her timing when bantering with her husband, pianist Jeff Barnhart. Anne is also a gifted educator, having taught hundreds of students over the past 30 years. Anne holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music.





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