Ohio Chautauqua 2020

American Voices: The Right to Vote

Call for Living History Performers

Ohio Humanities plans to commemorate the significant anniversaries of the passing of the 19th Amendment, Civil Rights Act, and Voting Rights Act with Ohio Chautauqua 2020, American Voices: The Right to Vote. With this theme Ohio Humanities will explore the stories behind the expansion of suffrage to ever more Ohioans and celebrate a core democratic act, the vote. Ohio Chautauqua 2020 seeks to spark conversations about those moments when access to citizenship and a political voice grew to include American women and people of color. Ohio Humanities seeks exemplary living-history scholars to be a part of the 2020 troupe, which will include American characters who played an active and transformative role in the women’s suffrage and civil rights eras (mid-1800s to the 1960s). We welcome applications for characters that are appropriate to the theme. Examples of such figures include Harriet Taylor-Upton, Jackie Robinson, Ida B. Wells, Victoria Woodhull, Sojourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Frederick Douglass. Ohio Humanities will give preference to characters with an Ohio connection.

Ohio Chautauqua presentations are costumed performances based on thorough academic research. They consist of three acts: a monologue (30-40 minutes) followed by a question-and-answer session in character and a question and answer session out of character. During a weekly residency in an Ohio community, scholars will present one performance; conduct daytime programs for adults and families; be available for meetings and appearances at social and publicity events. In addition, they may be asked to submit an essay, timeline, and additional written materials for Ohio Humanities publications. Scholars will receive an honorarium for their work. Ohio Humanities will cover per diem, and travel and lodging expenses. Scholars are responsible for developing their own scripts, costumes, and props.

All applications to portray an Ohio Chautauqua 2020 character must include:

  • Cover sheet with your contact information and the name of the character(s) you wish to portray
  • Current CV detailing acting, research experience, and examples of scholarly presentations given out of character, along with letters of reference
  • 500-word essay about how your character made an impact on Suffrage and Civil Rights
  • A brief bibliography of sources you used to build your character
  • Video (15 minutes or longer) of you portraying the proposed character

Submit applications to:

Samantha Chase, Program Coordinator

Ohio Humanities

471 E. Broad Street, Suite 1620

Columbus, Ohio 43215-3857


Questions? Contact Samantha Chase at 800-293-9774; schase@ohiohumanities.org. Application deadline is April 15, 2019.