(ST MICHAELS, MD – February 19, 2018) On the evenings of July 9-11, the annual Chautauqua Summer Series brings three live, waterfront performances to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. This year’s Maryland Humanities’ series theme is Seeking Justice, with all living history performances taking place from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on CBMM’s Fogg’s Landing and the Miles River. All performances are free and open to the public.
A Chautauqua performance is a historical dramatization featuring individuals who are part scholar and part actor. Each performance is broken into three acts, where the performer represents a historical figure in the first person, then invites audience questions; and in the final act, steps out of character to answer questions that the historical figure could not have been able to answer.
The 2018 Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is generously sponsored by Karen and Langley Shook, and is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County, and the Towns of Easton, Oxford and St Michaels.
On Monday, July 9, Seeking Justice, with Frederick Douglass will kick off the series. Talbot County native Frederick Douglass, a writer, orator, and abolitionist, was one of the most important African-American activists of the nineteenth century. During the “Year of Frederick Douglass,” the bicentennial celebration of his birth, this Maryland icon will be portrayed by Bill Grimmette, a living history interpreter, storyteller, actor, and motivational speaker who has appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, and Benjamin Banneker at Chautauqua performances in Maryland, Colorado, and South Carolina.
On Tuesday, July 10, Seeking Justice, with Eleanor Roosevelt will be performed. Eleanor Roosevelt, a humanitarian, diplomat, and the longest serving First Lady in American history, was also an important advocate for justice. She will be portrayed by Susan Marie Frontczak, a writer, speaker, living history presenter, and storyteller. Frontczak has appeared throughout the United States as Marie Curie, Clara Barton, Mary Shelley, and Irene Castle.
On Wednesday, July 11, Seeking Justice, with Thurgood Marshall will be performed. Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights activist from Baltimore who broke barriers as the lead NAACP attorney in Brown v. Board of Education and as the first African American Supreme Court Justice. He will be portrayed by Brian Anthony Wilson, a film and television actor and producer who will perform a scene from the play Thurgood by George Stevens, Jr., followed by a dialogue with Lenneal Henderson. Henderson is an internationally recognized scholar who brought Marshall to life in the 2010 Maryland Humanities Chautauqua tour.
“Chautauqua” was the name 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. As it evolved, the Chautauqua movement presented the latest in thinking in politics, economics, literature, science, and religion. Maryland Humanities launched the modern Chautauqua program in Maryland in 1995.
The Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM invites guests to bring carry-on food and beverages along with their own chairs and blankets for seating. All performances are held on the lawn of Fogg’s Landing, near CBMM’s Steamboat Building, with convenient entry adjacent to parking. In the event of rain, performances will be held in the Van Lennep Auditorium, with space limited. No registration is required.
Maryland Humanities’ 24th annual Chautauqua Summer Series, Seeking Justice, is coming to the waterfront Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. on July 9, 10, and 11. This year’s theme features living history performances of Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Thurgood Marshall, as illustrated by Tom Chalkley here. The CBMM performances are scheduled to take place from 7-8:30 p.m. along the Miles River on Fogg’s Landing, and are free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for outdoor seating. In the event of rain, the performances will be moved inside, with limited space. No advanced registration is required. For information on specific performances, visit cbmm.org or call 410-745-2916.