Wednesday, June 20, 2018

History Comes Alive at the Chautauqua Festival

History buffs in the area should take note that the Chautauqua Festival is taking place through Sunday, with events at venues across the Upstate and northwest NC. The 20 year-old festival is returning with a new cast of characters, but the same premise: one character, minimal set, with the audience as supporting cast.

Join Winston Churchill, Harriet Tubman, Alice Paul, Clara Barton and Francis Marion as they transport you back in time to tell their story, then afterwards participate in the production with a chance to ask questions in a sort of time-traveling Q&A. Finally, the historical interpreter will step out of character to answer more questions – this time responding in a way that the subject could not (or would not) have been able to answer.

The performers will be at the Upcountry History Museum for Morning Coffees starting this morning at 9am: Churchill (6/20), Paul/Barton (6/21), Tubman (6/22), Marion (6/23). Join in the discussion!

Then catch the actors in character at one of their performances, with event venues ranging from Falls Park in Greenville to A-B Technical College in Asheville, Spartanburg Headquarters Library, Greenville Tech and Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. For the full schedule please see the Chautauqua History Alive website.

In addition to the main act, there is also entertainment at the evening shows to help ‘set the stage’ of the era. Last night Sentimental Journey performed some classic favorites, their harmonies helping ease the audience into the 1940s.

This year’s theme is Courage, and last evening’s Churchill brought the turbulent times of the first half of the 20th century to life. Actor Larry Bounds (Greer, SC) has portrayed Walt Disney, Houdini, Einstein, Walter Cronkite and Davy Crockett in previous Chautauqua Festivals, and will be next appearing at the Spartanburg library this evening at 7pm.

While our oldest son was interested in the performance, it is geared towards and adult audience; the event is family friendly and children are welcome, but parents might find it easier to manage an outdoor performance. Shows are rain or shine, with indoor sites posted in advance and weather alerts on the website.

The Festival is free except a small admission fee for the Asheville performances. Please visit the Chautauqua Festival website for more information.

1 comment:

  1. What a neat historical festival.... Even if it is geared mostly for adults, I'm sure that kids will enjoy most of it.... That is such a neat event in the Summertime.... Greenville is such a special city.



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