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.
Chautauqua first came to Ashland in the summer of 2000 through the auspices of Ohio Chautauqua. The Chautauqua spirit caught hold in our community. Since that time, ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA has become an institution in North Central Ohio and a favorite way for residents of the area to celebrate their love of history, their love of learning, and their love of simply having a good time. Its quality and popularity earned it an Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce award this year as the area’s best Cultural and Entertainment business!
At CHAUTAUQUA, audiences witness history in its most compelling form--first person historical portrayals. Nationally-recruited scholar/actors take on the roles of historical figures, appearing in costume and presenting exciting living history performances.
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. The event will be held July 18-22.
Each of these scholar/actors will appear in a major evening 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.
Previous CHAUTAUQUA themes have included 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 is produced through the year-round efforts of 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 now has a dedicated audience in and around Ashland County, growing from that early support from the Ohio Humanities Council and their production of the annual OHIO CHAUTAUQUA. Please join us in the only Ohio community that has developed its own ongoing Chautauqua event. Help us continue the tradition in 2017!