June 14, 2024

Chautauqua Makes Waves This Summer

Making Waves

Living history will be making waves at the College of Southern Maryland‘s La Plata Campus for three days in July.

Chautauqua 2019 will focus on how water has shaped history. Three performances July 9-11 will highlight historical adventurers who navigated ice, waves, and the ocean depths.

The first presentation brings to life Charles County native Matthew Henson, a polar explorer, craftsman, and author, said to be the first African-American to reach the North Pole. It will be held at 6:45 pm Tuesday, July 9.

Keith Henley, a historic interpreter and actor, will portray Mr. Henson. Mr. Henley has performed as Henry Box Brown, George Washington Carver, Langston Hughes, Sgt. Henry Johnson, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia and at Chautauquas in Colorado, Delaware, South Carolina, and Arkansas, according to a biography provided by Maryland Humanities.

Jacques Cousteau will be featured at 6:45 pm Wednesday, July 10. This presentation brings to life oceanographer, filmaker, and scientist Mr. Cousteau. He is known for his deep-sea explorations and his invention of the aqua lung.

Doug Mishler, an independent scholar and veteran Chautauquan, will portray Mr. Cousteau. Mr. Mishler has performed as P.T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ford, Jefferson Davis, George Wallace, Upton Sinclair, Maj. Gen. Robert Ross, and Gen. Joseph Pershing at past Maryland Humanities Chautauquas. He also portrays Ernie Pyle, Billy Sunday, William Clark, and others at Chautauqua programs throughout the country.

The final presentation in the series at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, July 11, brings to life Grace O’Malley, a 16th-century Irish pirate queen, who commanded ships, men, and the respect of Queen Elizabeth I. Ms. O’Malley will be portrayed by Mary Ann Jung, an award-winning actress who specializes in interactive history. Ms. Jung has portrayed Clara Barton, Rosalie Stier Calvert, Amelia Earhart, and Julia Child at past Maryland Humanities Chautauquas, and also performs as Margaret Brent, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others.

Chautauqua is presented by Maryland Humanities in partnership with the College of Southern Maryland with support from Old Line Bank.

The July 9-11 performances are free and will be held in the Fine Arts (FA) Center in the Brad and Linda Gottfried Theater at 8730 Mitchell Road in La Plata. For more information, visit the college’s website.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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