Tag Archives: Chautauqua

Maryland Humanities Council’s FREE July Chautauqua Series Brings the War of 1812 To Life At Six Locations Around the State

The Maryland Humanities Council (MHC), in conjunction with local partners, will present the 18th annual summer Chautauqua series, commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, from July 5–July 13 at six regional locations across the state.

Free and open to the public, live local musical and theatrical acts open each show. Living history performances are followed by a question and answer session which often sparks spirited conversation and provides great educational family fun. See below for a complete schedule.

“Inspiration, Unity, Preparedness, Courage: Maryland and the War of 1812” features three of five key historical figures at each location. Audiences will hear from the voices of the following characters:

· Francis Scott Key: An American lawyer and amateur poet who penned the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner, our National Anthem
· Rosalie Stier Calvert: A member of a wealthy Maryland family whose extensive correspondence illuminated life on the Calvert plantation leading up to and during the War of 1812
· Mary Pickersgill: The Baltimore flagmaker who stitched the famous flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore
· Robert Ross: The British Major General who routed American troops at the Battle of Bladensburg, burned Washington, and was mortally wounded on his way to the Battle of Baltimore
· President James Madison: The fourth President of the United States (1809-17) who led our nation into the War of 1812

MHC is a statewide, educational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The purpose of MHC is to stimulate and promote informed dialogue and civic engagement on issues critical to Marylanders. For more information about MHC, please visit www.mdhc.org.

Jill Peterson (Mary Pickersgill) has been performing as the flagmaker for the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House since 2002. She conducts outreach across the Baltimore region and has appeared as Mary on Maryland Public Television and at War of 1812 events at Fort McHenry. She has a B.A. in Communication from Concordia College, Seward, NE, and was a photographer in the Air Force.

Alan Gephardt (Francis Scott Key) has been portraying Francis Scott Key at schools, historical societies and other gatherings since 1989. He has worked in the public history field for over 20 years, and is currently a ranger for the National Park Service, splitting his time between Hampton National Historic Site, Fort McHenry, and the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in history at Towson University in 1974 and his Master’s at the University of Maryland in 1997.

Mary Ann Jung (Rosalie Stier Calvert) is the award-winning actress behind the History Alive! interactive= shows. She has been a lead actress and Director of Renaissance History and Shakespearean Language at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for over 30 years. She is a Smithsonian scholar/performer and has appeared on CNN, the Today Show, and Good Morning America. Jung’s living history performances include Julia Child, Clara Barton, Mistress Margaret Brent, Rosalie of Riversdale, Amelia Earhart, Good Queen Bess, and Rosie the Riveter. She has a B. A. in British History from the University of Maryland.

Doug Mishler (Robert Ross) is an independent scholar who has taught at the University of Nevada and Western Washington University. His the author of a history of the Ringling Brothers Circus. He has previously appeared at MHC’s Chautauqua as Jefferson Davis, P.T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ford, Upton Sinclair and George Wallace. He also portrays Ernie Pyle, Billy Sunday, William Clark, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew Jackson, Edward R. Murrow, and Thomas Hard Benton. MIshler has a Ph.D. in American cultural history from the University of Nevada.

John Douglas Hall (James Madison) has portrayed James Madison at Montpelier—the President’s hom
in Orange County, Virginia—since it was re-opened in 1987. He has also represented Madison at conferences, colleges, museums, and historic sites around the country. In his unique approach to living history, he studies and portrays events as they occurred 200 years ago to the day—starting each day by reading gazettes and pamphlets of that particular date in history.


MHC offers several ways for the public to enhance their Chautauqua experience. Here are a few:
Online Resources: MHC’s website, www.mdhc.org offers a War of 1812 resources page full of links to War of 1812 sites and resources.

Watch a Sneak Peek: Scan the QR box with your smartphone to view a five-minute clip of award-winning actress Mary Ann Jung as Rosalie Stier Calvert or follow the following link to MHC’s You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MDHumanitiesCouncil?feature=mhee

MHC Blog: During the month of June, our blog, located on the MHC homepage at www.mdhc.org, will feature Interviews with Chautauqua performers, and articles about the War of 1812.

2012 Chautauqua Schedule

7:00pm music, 7:30pm performance, under the tent
In case of severe weather: indoors in Garrett College Auditorium
Thursday, July 5 President James Madison
Friday, July 6 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Saturday, July 7 Major General Robert Ross

7:00pm music / 7:30pm performance, indoors in Q Theater
Friday, July 6 President James Madison
Saturday, July 7 Mary Pickersgill
Sunday, July 8 Major General Robert Ross

4:00pm music / 4:30pm performance, indoors in the church
Friday, July 6 Francis Scott Key
Saturday, July 7 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Sunday, July 8 Mary Pickersgill

7:00pm music/7:30pm performance, outdoors
In case of severe weather: indoors in the Avalon Theatre
Monday, July 9 Major General Robert Ross
Tuesday, July 10 Rosalie Stier Calvert
Wednesday, July 11 Francis Scott Key

6:45pm music / 7:15pm performance, outdoors
In case of severe weather: indoors in FA Building Theatre
Tuesday, July 10 Major General Robert Ross
Wednesday, July 11 President James Madison
Thursday, July 12 Rosalie Stier Calvert

7:00pm music / 7:30pm performance, under the tent
In case of severe weather: Lower Atrium, High Technology Bldg
Wednesday, July 11 Major General Robert Ross
Thursday, July 12 Mary Pickersgill
Friday, July 13 Francis Scott Key
Schedule subject to change. Visit www.mdhc.org for details.

Chautauqua – Three Different Shows in Easton This Summer

In partnership with the Maryland Humanities Council, the Avalon Foundation will be presenting Chautauqua in Easton this summer. The Chautauqua series is an entertaining and educational experience with audience participation. This year, meet Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman in “The American Civil War: A House Divided”. The first part of the evening will have character actors in costume portraying the historical figures through skits, humor and stories while educating the audience about our history. This is followed by a Q & A while the actor remains in character and then the audience will be able to ask questions to the actors themselves. This event is one of a kind and perfect for all ages.

As part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, Maryland Humanity Council’s living history series will feature three key figures: Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln, “The Great Emancipator”, and “The Moses of Her People” – our own Harriet Tubman, the conductor of the Underground Railroad to freedom.

Mon-Wed, July 11-13, 7pm
Chautauqua – “The American Civil War: A House Divided”

Mon, July 11, in Thompson Park: Jefferson Davis portrayed by Doug Mishler

Tues, July 12, at Londonderry Manor House: Abraham Lincoln portrayed by Jim Getty

Wed, July 13, at Idlewild Park: Harriet Tubman portrayed by Gwendolyn Briley-Strand

This series is underwritten by Hope & Tony Harrington and the Talbot County Arts Council with funds from Talbot County and the Towns of Easton and St. Michaels. This is the work of the Avalon Foundation. www.theavalonfoundation.com 410-822-7299

Chautauqua is back on the Eastern Shore! July 12-14 @ 7pm

What: 2010 Chautauqua – “Beyond Boundaries”: Living History Portrayals of Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Law Olmsted and Sacagawea

Where: Various Outdoor locations in Easton, Maryland (In case of severe weather, program will be held indoors at the Avalon Theatre)
When/Who: Music begins at 7 p.m. with performance at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, July 12, “Thurgood Marshall” in Thompson Park
Tuesday, July 13, “Sacagawea” in Londonderry Manor
Wednesday, July 14, “Frederick Law Olmsted” in Idlewild Park

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch famous, historical figures talk about their experiences and accomplishments…in real life? Chautauqua gives Marylander’s the chance to “meet” Thurgood Marshall, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Sacagawea and hear what their lives were like, what they thought about, and what kinds of impact they made on our culture and in our society.

Chautauqua takes place every summer in Maryland under large outdoor tents at college campuses, outdoor arenas and in community theaters. Chautauqua is a traveling event which hasn’t been held in our own backyard for quite some time. So take advantage of this original, educational, and fun event. All Chautauqua events are free and open to the public!

A little more about this year’s historical figures and the people who portray them:

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) worked throughout his life to challenge racial barriers in education, housing, transportation, electoral politics, and criminal justice. He won the landmark Brown v Board of Education case in 1954 and later became the first African American to serve on the United State Supreme Court. Portraying Thurgood Marshall is Lenneal J. Henderson – Distinguished Professor of Government and Public Administration and Senior Fellow at the William Donald Schaefer Center for Public Policy and a Senior Fellow in the Hoffberger Center for Professional Ethics at the University of Baltimore. In addition to his portrayal of Thurgood Marshall, Henderson has also appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sacagawea (c.1788 – 1812) was the only woman in the famous expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804-1806.  Eau. Carrying her infant son, Sacagawea traveled thousands of miles from the Mandan/Hidatsa village in what is now North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean and back.  Her primary function was to serve as a translator for the expedition. Portraying Sacagawea is Selene Phillips – a professor in the Communication Department at the University of Louisville and member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Nation.  She has portrayed Sacagawea at Chautauquas, on public television, and in other settings.

Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr.  (1822-1903) is known for his diverse landscapes, from New York’s Central Park, to the Capitol Grounds in Washington, to the Chicago World’s Fair, and many college campuses from the east coast to the west coast. But his values and vision extended into many endeavors, including farms ownership and management, journalism (he wrote three books on economic and social conditions in the South, with important observations on slavery), and serving as Executive Secretary of the Sanitary Commission with a mandate for providing health services during the Civil War. Gerry Wright, who portrays Olmsted, works in the areas of human services, environmental advocacy, and international relations.


“Chautauqua” was named for the Chautauqua Lake area in upstate New York, where the movement began in 1874 as a Methodist summer retreat. A wide range of religious lectures and educational programs attracted a huge following and turned Chautauqua, New York, into a popular summer resort.

As it evolved, the Chautauqua movement presented the latest thinking in politics, economics, literature, science, and religion. By 1900, more than 400 summer communities had developed from the original Chautauqua model, and touring companies presented lectures, debates, and performances at sites throughout the country. Theodore Roosevelt, himself an active participant, dubbed Chautauqua “the most American thing in America” due to its enormous popularity and accessibility.

In Maryland, the tradition dates back to the late nineteenth century, when Chautauquas took place at Mountain Lake Park in Garrett County and at Glen Echo Park in Montgomery County. In its heyday between the 1880s and World War I, this program attracted thousands to the community for symphonies, operas, plays and nationally prominent speakers including President Taft, Samuel Gompers, William Jennings Bryan, and Billy Sunday.

While increased access to radios, movies and cars led to a gradual decline in the Chautauqua movement by the 1930s, its legacy lives on through continuing education programs at community colleges, and humanities councils nationwide.

MHC launched the modern Chautauqua in Maryland in 1995 at Garrett College, and since then this popular program has spread to other parts of the state, educating and entertaining thousands of Marylanders every summer.
Chautauqua 2010 in Easton is generously sponsored by Hope and Tony Harrington.