Popular Ashland Chautauqua Opens July 18 With Rosa Parks

Popular Ashland Chautauqua Opens July 18 With Rosa Parks

  • 7/11/2017 8:16:27 AM
  • Larry Stine
  • Events / Entertainment

ASHLAND, OH - Never been to Ashland Chautauqua?

A few months ago, Ashland Chautauqua was honored to receive the 2017 Ashland Chamber of Commerce Award for Culture & Recreation.

Time to see what it’s all about!

Here is the scene: It is opening night for Ashland Chautauqua 2017. The day is Tuesday, July 18; the time is 8 p.m. The place is the Guy C. Myers Memorial Bandshell in Ashland.

Rosa Parks is tired from a day of work; she rides the bus toward home and refuses to vacate her seat so a white man can sit there.

Yes, Rosa Parks will tell her famous story on July 18 in Ashland. Was she simply a tired worker the afternoon of December 1, 1955, and just did not want to get up out of her seat or was she a civil rights activist who had planned to make a stand against the racial segregation on public buses in Montgomery, Alabama? Rosa Parks will explain.

She will be portrayed by Chautauqua scholar Becky Stone, who will come to Ashland from West Virginia for the performance. Following the performance, Rosa Parks the character will answer questions from the audience. Finally, Becky Stone the scholar and actor will answer audience questions about Rosa Parks and about her research and preparation for the portrayal.

Stone and four other scholars will present five evening performances and 10 daytime workshops July 18-22. The other characters will be aviator Bessie Coleman, union organizer “Mother” Jones, refugee from Nazi oppression Maria von Trapp, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year for the first time Ashland Chautauqua will recognize those audience members who attend all five nights of performances. There will be a special prize drawing on the last night, Saturday, July 22, just for those who have had their 5-Nighter Passport initialed every evening by a Chautauqua planning committee member.

Each night an entertainment opening act precedes the scholar’s performance. On Tuesday, July 18 the opening act is Austin Walkin’Cane with his Delta blues and slide guitar, an entertainment favorite at previous performances in Ashland. Other opening acts through the week will be the Steve Brown Trio, CeCe Otto, the Cedar Valley Cloggers, and Ted Yoder.

Ashland Chautauqua’s popular mixture of education and entertainment extends to its daytime workshops. Tuesday workshops include an adult workshop by scholar Elsa Wolff entitled Tell Your Life Story, an adult workshop by scholar Marvin Jefferson entitled Remembrances of the 1960’s—A Time of Change, and a youth workshop by scholar Karen Vuranch entitled Appalachian Storytelling.

A complete list of the workshops can be found at www.ashlandchautauqua.org.

Local businesses provide prizes for nightly drawings from completed audience surveys. Their generous donations of gift cards and products make it worthwhile for audience members to complete the evaluation form and enter the drawing each evening.

Ashland Chautauqua is made possible with major underwriting and statewide promotional support from the Ohio Humanities Council, Ohio Arts Council, City of Ashland's Parks & Recreation Department, and Ashland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Ashland Main Street acts as fiscal agent. Brethren Care Village has provided generous funding for the high-quality color Companion Reader. Additional support from local individuals, businesses and organizations strengthen and guarantee an ongoing annual event for the community.

All Ashland Chautauqua programs are free and open to the public with freewill donations accepted. For a full schedule of events and a copy of the Companion Reader, visit www.ashlandchautauqua.org, find them on Facebook at facebook.com/AshlandChautauqua or contact the Ashland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 419-281-4584.

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