News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: June 23, 2003 (03-53)
Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

History Comes Alive at Montgomery College’s Chautauqua 2003, July 8-12
Five-day Germantown Campus Event Recalls Lives of Paine, Douglass, Anthony, and F.D.R.

Famous figures in America’s history take center stage at Montgomery College’s annual Chautauqua, July 8-12 at the Germantown Campus.  This family-friendly event brings together music, poetry and the humanities for a program of educational entertainment.  All evening programs will take place outdoors underneath a tent.

Chautauqua 2003, July 8-12

This year’s Chautauqua theme is “Let Freedom Ring.”  Present-day actor-scholars will portray historical figures – economist Thomas Paine, abolitionist Frederick Douglass, suffragist Susan B. Anthony, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt – who were an integral part of this country’s quest for freedom, either for its people or for the government.  The scholars modify their clothing, hair and even their speech to create the illusion that the audience has traveled back in time. 

“We always look forward to the community visiting our campus during Chautauqua.  This year’s performances coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the dedication of the Germantown Campus,” said Dr. Hercules Pinkney, Vice President and Provost of the Germantown Campus at Montgomery College.

The Chautauqua movement began in the late 1800s as a program for training Sunday school teachers.  It took its name from a lake in upstate New York, and quickly became known for educating adults in the fields of the arts and humanities.  At the turn-of-the-century, Chautauqua lecturers and entertainers traveled across the country, bringing their style of education to small towns.  When Americans increasingly replaced live entertainment with television and movies, the Chautauqua movement dwindled. 

During the 1970s, the dying form of entertainment got a new breath of life.  The Chautauqua re-invented itself as a public humanities program.  Through these dialogues, scholars take on the life of a figure from the past to educate and entertain audiences of all ages.

The Montgomery College Chautauqua 2003 is sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland Division of Historical and Cultural Programs, Columbia Gas of Maryland, Lockheed Martin, and the Choice Hotels International Foundation. 

The Chautauqua’s program schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, July 8, 7 p.m.
    Original Poetry of life and freedom read by Donald Marbury
    An Evening with Susan B. Anthony
    , by Annette Baldwin

  • Wednesday, July 9, 7 p.m.
    Original Poetry of life and freedom read by Donald Marbury
    An Evening with Frederick Douglass, by Bill Grimmette

  • Thursday, July 10, 7 p.m.
    Period Music by David and Ginger Hildebrand
    An Evening with Thomas Paine, by Carrol Peterson

  • Friday, July 11, 7 p.m.
    Period Music by Mary Sue Twohy
    An Evening with Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Ed Beardsley

  • Saturday, July 12, 1 p.m.
    “Ideas of Freedom” Reading/Discussion
    Professor Whit Ridgway, University of Maryland
    This event is held in the High Technology and Science Center, Room 216, at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College

All performances are free and open to the public.  The evening performances will be held underneath a tent on the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown.  In case of rain, the performances will be moved to Globe Hall.

All sites are accessible for persons with disabilities.  To request sign language interpretation, please contact the Maryland Humanities Council at 410-771-0650.  For more information on the Montgomery College Chautauqua, call 240-567-7746.

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