An exciting mixture of education and entertainment, Ohio Chautauqua will travel to two communities across the state this summer.

Join us June 9-13 in northwest Ohio as Rossford hosts Ohio Chautauqua for a third time. Evening performances will be featured at Veterans Memorial Park, situated along the banks of the scenic Maumee River. The tour will conclude in central Ohio, June 16-20, with outdoor evening performances presented under the tent at Westerville Sports Complex, one of Westerville’s many public spaces. Daytime programs for youth and adults will feature community discussions and opportunities to consider the context of suffrage and civil rights.


2020 Characters

This summer, Ohio Chautauqua will explore the theme American Voices: The Right to Vote. The program will feature the stories of five historical figures whose fervent advocacy left a legacy on the history of suffrage and civil rights. Join us in June to learn from these voices and others as we celebrate a core democratic act, the vote.


Ohio Chautauqua kicks off each week on Tuesdays, when Charles Pace portrays Frederick Douglass (1818 – February 20, 1895). Douglass was a famed writer, orator, and social reformer. He published three autobiographies on his experience as a former slave that also served as declarations against the institution and the treatment of African Americans. He became the voice of black experience in the nineteenth century and used his skill as a public speaker to advocate for social justice and voting rights. Charles Pace will convey the power of Douglass’s voice on the Ohio Chautauqua stage.



Wednesdays will feature Marjorie Goldman as Susan B. Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906). Anthony was a prominent advocate for temperance, abolition, and women’s rights. She co-founded the National Woman Suffrage Association and spent most of her life leading a national effort to secure women the right to vote. Marjorie Goldman will explore Anthony’s life and the ideals that have allowed her to persist as one of the most well-known figures in women’s history.




Join us Thursdays as Leslie Goddard portrays Alice Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977). Paul was a leader in the women’s rights movement and became key in helping to secure the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Her experience leading protests and lobbying in Washington led her to author the first Equal Rights Amendment. Paul spent the last decades of her life advocating for equal rights and the passage of the ERA. Leslie Goddard will showcase Paul’s fervent activism and belief in non-violent protest.




Friday evenings Ilene Evans brings Coralie Franklin Cook (March 1861 – August 25, 1942) to the stage. Cook was an equal rights advocate, educator, and leader in the women’s suffrage movement. She leveraged her gift as an orator to give a voice to African Americans during the suffrage movement and in the years following 1920. She became a leader for the NAACP and advocate for equal education. Ilene Evans portrayal will give insight into the divisions within the suffrage movement.




Each week will wind up with a Saturday evening performance of Paul Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) by Marvin Jefferson. Robeson found international acclaim in the twentieth century as a singer, actor, and political activist. He used his elevated public platform to speak about acts of racism against African Americans and in pursuit of equal rights for all. Jefferson will bring this vibrant performer to life on stage.






2020 Scholars


Charles Pace

Charles Everett Pace is one of the founding scholars of Chautauqua in Ohio. He has worked as a Student Development Specialist/Program Advisor at The University of Texas at Austin and taught at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana and Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Pace received an A.A. degree from Texarkana Jr. College, a B.A. in biology from The University of Texas at Austin, and a M.A. in American studies, anthropology/history from Purdue University. His research area is the anthropology of performance, experience and visual communication, and he travels across the US and abroad to perform. In addition to Frederick Douglass, Pace has developed solo interpretations of W.E.B DuBois, Langston Hughes, and Malcom X.

Marjorie Goldman

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Marjorie Goldman, Ph.D., has always loved theater, seeking out training and performance opportunities at a young age. She studied improvisation and attended programs at the Walnut Street Theater School in Philadelphia. After earning her B.A. in American studies at Grinnell College, she went on to gain an M.A. and complete doctoral work in the same field at Boston University. She is pleased to have been able to combine her love of history and theater to develop her portrayal of Susan B. Anthony.



Leslie Goddard

Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., is an award-winning historian, author, actress, and scholar. Her repertoire of famous women includes Alice Paul, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louisa May Alcott, Jackie Kennedy, and Bette Davis. She is the author of two books on Chicago history and currently works full-time as a historical interpreter and public speaker. Her past experience includes performing with the Illinois Humanities Council and serving on the board of the Illinois State Historical Society, the Illinois Association of Museums, and the Civil War Round Table of Chicago. She holds an M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in American studies and US history from Northwestern University.


Ilene Evans

Ilene Evans is an inspired storyteller, performer and scholar. She creates and presents theater programs and workshops/seminars that inform, educate, and entertain. Evans has toured extensively across the US and internationally with her historical and original works and received the Foundation of Freedom Award from Wheeling Jesuit University for her work. Ms. Evans received her B.A. from Trinity College Deerfield and her M.A. in storytelling at East Tennessee State University. Her portrayals of significant women of color include, Harriet Tubman, Coralie Franklin Cook, Memphis Tennessee Garrison, Ethel Waters and Bessie Coleman. Ms. Evans also offers a suite of spoken word, poetry, song and dance performances and workshops/seminars tailored for national and international audiences.

Marvin Jefferson

Marvin Jefferson has an extensive background as an educator, professional actor/director and living history scholar. An instructor at Bloomfield College, Jefferson studied acting at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and has spent years developing his portrayals of Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King, Jr. He has taught at Essex County College, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Franklin Township Department of Social Services, Newark School of the Arts. In addition to his work as an educator, he has served as producer/artistic director and co-founder of the Ensemble Theatre Company in Newark, NJ. Jefferson is a seasoned veteran of Chautauqua, previously a member of five Ohio Chautauqua tours.

Ohio Chautauqua 2020 Tour


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For Questions about Ohio Chautauqua,
call 1.800.293.9774


Ohio Chautauqua sites and programs are fully accessible. Services for people with disabilities include designated parking, wheelchair access, and a sound amplification system.