Ohio Chautauqua Comes to Piqua

The Ohio Humanities Council is proud to announce OHIO CHAUTAUQUA coming to Piqua, Ohio this summer, June 5-9, 2018!  OHIO CHAUTAUQUA, in its most compelling form, represents first-person historical portrayals. Each evening, trained scholar/performers assume the costume and character of historical figures as they present exciting living history performances beneath an old-fashioned red & white striped Chautauqua tent in communities across the state.  In Piqua, we offer the added benefit of hosting our Ohio Chautauqua programs at Hance Pavilion, which was specifically built for Chautauqua performances beginning in the early 1900’s.

On Tuesday, June 5th, come and visit the ever funny Erma Bombeck, portrayed by Susan Marie Frontczak.  Erma was known for her humor and wit and believed you had to be able to laugh at life to get through it.

Wednesday, June 6th will feature labor and civil rights activist, Cesar Chavez, portrayed by Fred Blanco.  Chavez is best known as founder of the United Farm Workers labor movement.  This movement he inspired succeeded in raising salaries and improving working conditions for farm workers in California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.

When you visit Ohio Chautauqua on Thursday, June 7th, you will meet Betty Friedan, portrayed by Dr. Sally Ann Drucker.  Friedan was most noted for sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century.  She was the co-founder and first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Friday, June 8th will feature Dr. J. Holmes Armstead as American United States Air Force general and commander of the World War 11 Tuskegee Airmen, Benjamin O. Davis Jr.  Davis became the first African American general officer in the United States Air force through his leadership and missions that included escorting bombers on air combat missions over Europe.

Last but certainly not least, our Ohio Chautauqua concludes on Saturday, June 9th with performer Jeremy Meier portraying the distinguished Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy who was an American politician and lawyer who served in many capacities.  In 1968, Kennedy was a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Additional OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2018, Modern Legends performance communities include the beautiful Ohio River village of Gallipolis (June 12-16), where Ohio Chautauqua returns for the seventh time since 2006. Rossford (June 19-23) has made Chautauqua a tradition since they first welcomed the troupe to its Veterans Memorial Park and Marina in 2013. The tour ends back on the banks of the Ohio River in the charming village of New Richmond (June 26-30), where residents are dedicated to preserving the area’s rich history. New Richmond hosted Ohio Chautauqua in 2015.

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA programs are fun for the entire family! Everyone meets under the tent to learn from and talk with famous historical figures from our past. In addition to major living history presentations, each character will make special public appearances and present “behind-the-scenes” programs and workshops for children and adults throughout the host community. Watch for more details in the coming days and weeks.


Ohio Humanities is the state-based partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Through grants and public humanities programs we help Ohioans interpret the past, imagine the future, and define individual values. We’re committed to creating vibrant communities throughout our state.

Visit ohiohumanities.org to learn more.

Lorna Swisher