Produced by a committee of volunteers with representation from the City of Ashland, the Loudonville Theater & Arts Committee, Ashland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Ashland City Schools and Ashland University, ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA has been an institution in North Central Ohio for the past seventeen years.
At CHAUTAUQUA, youth and adults witness history in its most compelling form--first person historical portrayals. Trained scholar/actors take on the roles of historical figures, appearing in costume and presenting exciting living history performances.
Every year ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA hosts nationally recruited scholar/actors who portray characters connected to a particular theme. Previous CHAUTAUQUA themes include the Wild West, World War II, the Roaring '20s, the Great Depression, Literary Legends, Business and Industry, Sport and Society, the 1930s, Adventurers and Explorers, the Fabulous Fifties, Legends of the Silver Screen, Poetry & Prose, 200 Years of Progress, and Voices of Freedom.
ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA’s 2017 theme is "Voices of Courage" and will feature five historic figures who acted boldly for freedom and rights in the 20th century. This year's cast includes Becky Stone as civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Ilene Evans as pioneering aviator Bessie Coleman, Karen Vuranch as impassioned union organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, Elsa Wolff as refugee from Nazi oppression Maria von Trapp, and Marvin Jefferson as leader of the nonviolent civil right movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each scholar/actor will appear in a major performance in character on stage at the Myers Band Shell at Brookside Park. In addition, each will present a daytime youth program and an adult lecture workshop during their weeklong residency in Ashland County.
CHAUTAUQUA has developed a strong audience in and around Ashland County, due to support from the Ohio Humanities Council and their production of the annual OHIO CHAUTAUQUA. With Ashland's strong understanding of, and demand for, the program ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA continues the tradition in 2017. Please join us!