On a cold weekend in January, members of the Ohio Chautauqua 2016-2017 troupe—Chuck Chalberg, Dan Cutler, Susan Marie Frontczak, and Dianne Moran—gathered in Columbus for a dress rehearsal. Each troupe member shared a portion of their performances with each other and received feedback from Jeremy Meier, assistant professor of theatre and director of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts at Owens Community College.


Jeremy Meier and Dan Cutler chat over coffee before rehearsal.

In addition to working on their performances, the troupe had individual and group portraits taken by photographer Janet Adams. Ohio Humanities’ Community Outreach Coordinator Michael Straughter taped video interviews with troupe members. The photos and interviews will be used to promote Ohio Chautauqua through 2017.

Chautauqua performances differ from other types of one-man shows. The performers are part scholar and part actor; their performances combine extensive research with extensive performance experience. Fascinated by their characters for years, Chautauqua performers have a personal relationship with history.

Chautauqua performances are broken into three parts. First, the performer represents a historical figure in the first person. Next the performer invites audience questions and answers them in character. Finally, the performer steps out of character to answer questions that the historical figure could not (or would not!) have been able to answer.

Join Ohio Humanities for the 18th annual tour of Ohio Chautauqua!

An exciting mixture of education and entertainment, Ohio Chautauqua will travel to four communities across the state this summer. The 2016 tour begins in Brimfield (June 7-11), where Ohio Chautauqua will serve as a centerpiece of the town’s bicentennial celebrations. Follow the program to Hamilton (June 14-18), where the stage will be set on the Miami University-Hamilton campus.  The next stop is Gallipolis (June 21-25). Known for its friendly people and natural beauty, Gallipolis is hosting its sixth visit from Ohio Chautauqua. The tour concludes in Rossford (June 28-July 2), a history-minded community that first welcomed Ohio Chautauqua in 2013.


Dianne Moran shares her portrayal of Dian Fossey

Janet Adams Photo

Janet Adams captures the perfect shot of Chief Cornstalk (Danny Cutler).


Michael Straughter prepares lighting equipment for troupe interviews.