COSHOCTON -- Ohio Chautauqua will be returning to Coshocton on July 23-27. The theme of the Ohio Humanities Council program this year is When Ohio Was the Western Frontier featuring historic figures from Ohio's past: Oliver Hazard Perry, Chief John Logan, Margaret Blennerhassett, York, and Johnny Appleseed. The weeklong event offers free daytime workshops led by the scholars for youth (ages fourth grade and up) and for adults, and free evening first-person performances.
Jan Myers, director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau is on Coshocton's Ohio Chautauqua committee."We are thrilled that Ohio Humanities is bringing Ohio Chautauqua back to Coshocton this summer," said Myers. "We were so excited about the program when it was here for our Bicentennial in 2011 and made the decision at that time to pursue bringing Ohio Chautauqua back to Coshocton on a fairly regular basis.
"Ohio Chautauqua is a unique Ohio Humanities Council traveling program that visits four or five communities in Ohio each summer, spending five days in each location. They bring in a huge red and white tent, 500 chairs, a stage, and five scholars/actors who portray historic characters. The best part of it is that the performances and the workshops are all free to attend," Myers said.
The Ohio Chautauqua tent will be set up at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds (707 Kenilworth Ave., Coshocton) where the evening performances will take place July 23-27. Entertainment will begin under the tent with live music around 6:30 p.m. The first-person performances will begin each evening at 7:30 p.m.
There will also be daytime workshops led by each of the scholars for both youth and adults. The youth workshops, appropriate for ages ten and older, are sponsored by the Coshocton Public Library and will be held at the Coshocton Presbyterian Church (142 N. 4th St,, Coshocton) at 10:30 a.m. each day, July 23-27. The adult workshops will take place at Central Ohio Technical College (200 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton) at 2 p.m. each day.
"We are very excited that along with Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton this summer, Central Ohio Technical College, Coshocton Campus will be hosting a Teacher's Institute incorporating the Ohio Chautauqua workshops and performances," said Myers. "This is such a wonderful opportunity for our local educators. Teachers can contact COTC for more information on registering for this program."
The troupe of scholars coming to Coshocton with Ohio Chautauqua 2013 When Ohio Was the Western Frontier include Dan Cutler as Iroquois leader Chief John Logan; Debra Conner as frontier aristocrat Margaret Blennerhassett; Marvin Jefferson as Lewis and Clark expedition member York; Hank Fincken as naturalist and folk hero Johnny Appleseed; and Jeremy Meier as the Battle of Lake Erie hero Oliver Hazard Perry.
There is no charge to attend the evening performances or the daytime workshops.
"Each community pays a hosting fee to bring this weeklong event to their town," explained Myers. "We are very grateful for the numerous contributions that have been received so far to bring Ohio Chautauqua to Coshocton in 2013, and we welcome additional contributions."
Project sponsors and supporters include The Coshocton Foundation, Tom Leech, Kraft Foods, The Simpson Family Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Coshocton, Frontier Power Company, and Given Dawson Funeral Home. To help support Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton, contact Jan Myers at 740-622-4877 or Rick Merrell at 740-622-4447 ext. 304.
For information about Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton, contact the Coshocton Visitors Bureau at 740-622-4877, 1-800-338-4724 or www.VisitCoshocton.com.
For information about other Ohio Humanities Programs, visit OhioHumanities.org.