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Archive for Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chautauqua: History under the tent

Workmen for Weiser Tent of Monette, Mo., from left, C.J. Flower, Dustin Bolize and Matt McCarter, put up the main tent  for Chautauqua in South Park. The series of talks, exhibits and performances with the theme "Bright Dreams, Hard Time: America in the Thirties" continues through Sunday.

Workmen for Weiser Tent of Monette, Mo., from left, C.J. Flower, Dustin Bolize and Matt McCarter, put up the main tent for Chautauqua in South Park. The series of talks, exhibits and performances with the theme "Bright Dreams, Hard Time: America in the Thirties" continues through Sunday.

June 19, 2008

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Chautauqua ready to kick off

The decade of the 'Dust Bowl' and 'The Great Depression' comes alive in South Park as Chautauqua performers hit the stage. But the adults aren't the only history buffs around. 6News reporter Lindsey Slater has more on some local kids who also stepped back in time today.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to travel solo across the Atlantic Ocean and on Wednesday, exactly 80 years later, she told her story to children in Lawrence.

Well, someone who plays her did.

A group of children participating in the Youth Chautauqua Camp saw firsthand how the art of playing a historical figure is accomplished, and they heard about the 1930s from people who lived through the decade in Lawrence.

"I think they can get the real story," said Polly Reed, a Lawrence resident and "expert" source for the history students.

The young people will research, write a script and perform as a local historical character of their choosing on Sunday night at the Chautauqua tent in South Park in downtown Lawrence.

"I like history and I really like acting," said 10-year-old Courtney Cooper, of Lawrence. "(The experts) told a lot of really good, cool stories about what it was like in Lawrence during the 1930s."

The young historian-actors will do a character performance and answer questions both in character and as a researcher.

"They'll be so knowledgeable in five days, it'll just make Lawrence proud," said Joyce Thierer, a Chautauqua performer who portrays Calamity Jane. "What these young Chautauquans will know : they're going to make all of that Lawrence come alive."

The youngsters are ready to take the stage.

"I'm really excited to become a different person and act out," said Sadie Keller, 10, of Lawrence.

Grey Thornburgh, an 11-year-old from Topeka, said he was "a little bit nervous, but it's going to be fun."

The Kansas-Nebraska Chautauqua actors begin their performances of "Hard Times, Bright Dreams: America in the Thirties" tonight in South Park. They will be hitting the stage each night through Sunday. Pre-show entertainment starts at 7 p.m. and the actors begin at 7:30. Activities include music, re-enactments and educational workshops.

Today's Schedule

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Dust Bowl traveling exhibit, Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Mass.

10:30 a.m.: "Agriculture Then and Now," workshop by Patrick McGinnis, Lawrence Visitor Information Center, 401 N. Second St.

1 p.m-5 p.m.: Youth Chautauqua Camp, Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

1 p.m.: "Will Rogers: Film and American Society," workshop by Doug Watson, Lawrence Visitor Information Center.

3 p.m.: "Huey Long and State Innovation," workshop by Fred Krebs, Lawrence Visitor Information Center.

7 p.m.: "Will Rogers," by Watson, Chautauqua Tent in South Park, 12th and Massachusetts streets.

7:30 p.m.: "Franklin D. Roosevelt," by McGinnis, Chautauqua Tent.

Comments

Alison Roberts 6 years, 6 months ago

I guess they couldnt think of a more creative title... good job guys. Im pretty sure you arent the only "11 y/o at heart" who will read that and giggle :)

hilary 6 years, 6 months ago

Is this title really necessary, LJworld? Gosh, I'm still an 11 year old at heart.

hellbilly_grrl 6 years, 6 months ago

Typical Kansas - gotta bring people over from Missouri to do the real work! And BTW, it's spelled "Monett."

Haiku_for_You 6 years, 6 months ago

When I woke today,I'd pitched a tent already. Wasn't front page news.

stuckinthemiddle 6 years, 6 months ago

confirming what has been suspected all along...the typical LJW commenter has the mental capacity of Beavis and Butthead...

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