ROSSFORD — Drama, entertainment and living history come together in what is now an annual performance of Chautauqua.
This year’s version is focused on modern people in the Rossford production, one of only four sites in the state to host the Ohio Chautauqua 2018 tour. The theme is “Modern Legends,” featuring characters of note including politician and lawyer Robert F. Kennedy; humorist and author Erma Bombeck; labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez; American writer, activist and feminist Betty Friedan, and the first African-American general officer in the U.S. Air Force Benjamin O. Davis.
There is no charge for any of these presentations, which are mainly at Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Ave. Park is available at Eagle Point School, where buses will provide transportation to the show. For those unfamiliar with the format, the people who portray the characters come on as if they were the actual historical figure, stepping into character as if they were alive talking to the people of their day.
If history was a favorite subject in school — or even if it wasn’t — participants will be amazed and delighted when it comes to life June 19-23.
Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy.
Food vendors will be on hand nightly from 5-9 p.m.
The evening performances will be held at Veteran’s Memorial Park and Marina Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
Live local music precedes each performance at 6:30 p.m.
The schedule begins Tuesday with Susan Marie Frontczak as Erma Bombeck. Music will precede by Tim Concannon.
Cesar Chavez takes the stage Wednesday as portrayed by Fred Blanco. Music will be provided by El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico.
On Thursday, Sally Ann Drucker will assume the persona of Betty Friedan with music by Muddy.
J. Holmes Armstead appears as Benjamin O. Davis Jr. next Friday with music preceding by Carmen Miller.
The final program will take visitors back before the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 23 as Jeremy Meier assumes the role of the late president’s brother. Music will be provided by Dan Cadaret.
The dramatic performances each evening by the various scholars who bring these historical figures to life have been created following tremendous research to make their portrayals as realistic as possible.
The scholars will also provide programs during the day at the Rossford Library, at 2 and 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday with a Family Day on the final day, June 23 from 1-5 p.m. Each scholar will present at least one presentation during the final day. Find more details at the library or its website.