Ashland Chautauqua 2024

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Karen Vuranch as JULIA CHILD Cooking teacher, author & TV personality Opening Act: SHaK Hasan Davis as JOE LOUIS Boxing champion Opening Act: Steve Brown Jazz Trio Ilene Evans as ETHEL WATERS Blues singer & actress Opening Act: The Bridge Live! Jeremy Meier as JOHN DILLINGER Bank robber & gangster Opening Act: Kristine Jackson Elsa Wolff as AMELIA EARHART Aviation pioneer Opening Act: Ted Yoder ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO MAJOR SUPPORT FROM THE SPONSORS LISTED BELOW. Silver Anniversar 25 years 2000 2024
July 16-20, 2024 | Evening Performance Schedule Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell Opening Acts at 7 p.m. | Living History Performances at 8 p.m.


Silver Celebration Brings Back

Five years ago, the Ashland Chautauqua planning committee pondered how to celebrate 25 years of summer events in a special way in 2024. We decided to add a question to our audience survey to find out who the most memorable and appreciated characters had been. If you were an audience member who filled out that survey in 2019, we thank you for helping us select the characters and scholars who made it to the top of the list.

Our 2024 “A Trip Down Memory Lane” will include Karen Vuranch reprising Julia Child, the TV personality and author known for her lessons in French cooking (2009); Hasan Davis portraying boxing champion Joe Louis, who weathered racism in the mid-20th century (2007); Ilene Evans as Ethel Waters, blues singer and actor who broke race barriers in her career (2013); Jeremy Meier returning as John Dillinger, whose short life made his name synonymous with daring criminal activity (2005); and Elsa Wolff portraying Amelia Earhart, the aviation pioneer most known for having been lost in the Pacific Ocean in a round-the-world flight attempt (2011).

We also want to give a shout-out to scholar John Anderson, who visited Ashland in April 2024 to bring back Richland County native Louis Bromfield. Bromfield–writer, celebrity, and conservation farmer–was a popular character in the 2015 Ashland Chautauqua. This year Anderson offered a lecture, a dramatic reading (along with scholar Karen Vuranch), and a firstperson portrayal of Bromfield at Malabar Farm, supported by the Malabar Farm Foundation. This event kicked off Ashland Chautauqua’s Silver Celebration and created excitement for the 5-day event in July. Rather than coming together under a theme, as is the usual practice for choosing Chautauqua characters, this year’s characters present a considerable variety. Julia Child was a larger-than-life personality with a contagious enthusiasm for her cooking. Louis and Waters were noble and persistent in their determination to succeed with their talents in spite of racial discrimination. Amelia Earhart represented the quest for stretching the boundaries of human experience that characterized early aviators. John Dillinger seemed to be a “bad seed,” showing little evidence of the qualities that are most admired in our society–certainly an interesting character to hear about from HIS perspective.

Check the schedule on page 3 for daytime workshops being offered by the scholars. All evening performances and all workshops are free and open to the public. Our locations are accessible, and we attempt to meet the needs of audience members with sensory differences.

Be sure to pick up your 5-Nighter card Tuesday and have it marked by a Chautauqua volunteer every evening to be eligible for the prize drawing Saturday night.

Coffee with the Scholars will be held Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning in the Community Room at the Ashland Board of Realtors (107 E Main Street), starting at 9:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome to get better acquainted with the scholars and learn about behind-the-scenes Chautauqua. Ashland Chautauqua’s 2025 theme is “Breaking Barriers.” The characters selected include Steve Jobs, businessman, inventor, and co-founder of Apple, Inc.; Frances Perkins, workers-rights advocate and U.S. Secretary of Labor; Werner von Braun, German American aerospace engineer and space architect; Annie Sullivan, teacher and lifelong companion of Helen Keller; and Lucille Ball, actor, comedian, producer, and studio owner. See page 23 for more information about next year’s event.

Ashland Chautauqua is supported by Ohio Humanities, the Ohio Arts Council, the City of Ashland’s Parks & Recreation Department, Explore Ashland, local businesses and organizations, and local residents who want to see this vibrant celebration of history thrive in our community. A grant from the Ashland County Community Foundation helped with additional expenses related to the Silver Celebration. We are grateful to Ashland Main Street, our fiscal agent. This programming is planned and implemented by a committee of local citizen volunteers. Thanks to everyone—planners, funders, scholars, and audience members—who make Ashland Chautauqua an exciting and informative event year after year!

Now, let’s enjoy a week of walking down memory lane with our favorites from the past. And let’s make our 2024 Silver Celebration the year with the most 5-Nighters ever. Be one of them yourself and bring someone with you!

Favorites H ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2024 H 2 H H H H H H H H H H TABLE OF CONTENTS H H H H H H H H H H Julia Child................................................................................ 4 Joe Louis 6 Ethel Waters 8 John Dillinger. .......................................................................10 Amelia Earhart . 12

Schedule of Events

All Events are FREE and Open to the Public | All event locations are accessible and sensory-friendly. In case of inclement weather, evening events may be moved indoors. Daily updates will be available after 4 p.m. at: Website: | Facebook: | Band Shell Hotline: 419-281-3018


1 p.m. Stories of Courage

Multigenerational workshop presented by Hasan Davis

Location: Mill Run Place

2:30 p.m. The Final Flight into Mystery

Adult workshop presented by Elsa Wolff

Location: Ashland Public Library


7 p.m. Opening Act: SHaK (Semer, Holthouse, and Kastran)

8 p.m. An Evening with Julia Child


10 a.m. Name that Tune: Sing-Along with the Oldies Adult workshop presented by Ilene Evans

Location: The Golden Center at the Loudonville Public Library (basement meeting room)

1 p.m. Kick the Can and Feed the Chickens

Youth workshop presented by Jeremy Meier

Location: Salvation Army Kroc Center


7 p.m. Opening Act: Steve Brown Jazz Trio

8 p.m. An Evening with Joe Louis


9 a.m. Coffee with the Scholars Location: Community Room, Ashland Board of Realtors

11 a.m. We Were Standing Right There

Adult workshop presented by Hasan Davis

Location: Ashland County Council on Aging

2:30 p.m. Featured Felons and the Golden Age of Cinema

Adult workshop presented by Jeremy Meier

Location: Ashland Public Library

4 p.m. Food as Fellowship

Adult workshop presented by Karen Vuranch

Location: Ashland County Senior Citizen Center


7 p.m. Opening Act: The Bridge Live!

8 p.m. An Evening with Ethel Waters


9 a.m. Coffee with the Scholars

Location: Community Room, Ashland Board of Realtors

10 a.m. Growing up in the 1920s

Youth workshop presented by Ilene Evans

Location: YMCA Youth Camp at Myers Memorial Band Shell

Note: Rain site location is the Ashland YMCA

1 p.m. Singing & Storytelling

Youth workshop presented by Elsa Wolff

Location: Salvation Army Kroc Center

2:30 p.m. Stories of Food and Fun

Youth workshop presented by Karen Vuranch

Location: Ashland Public Library


7 p.m. Opening Act: Kristine Jackson

8 p.m. An Evening with John Dillinger


9 a.m. Coffee with the Scholars Location: Community Room, Ashland Board of Realtors


7 p.m. Opening Act: Ted Yoder

8 p.m. An Evening with Amelia Earhart

Ashland Chautauqua reserves the right to use any photograph/video taken at any event sponsored by Ashland Chautauqua, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. Ashland Chautauqua may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted by Ashland Chautauqua including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television, websites, etc.


Please complete a brief survey to help us improve programming and provide suggestions for future Ashland Chautauqua characters. This is crucial for our grant funding. Go to or scan the QR code.

This program is made possible in part by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


1912 Born Julia McWilliams in Pasadena, CA, eldest of three

1942 Became research assistant in Office of Strategic Services (OSS), sent to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Met Paul Child, married in 1946

1948 Paul assigned to U.S. Information Service at American Embassy in Paris; enrolled at the Cordon Bleu

1952 Started working on Mastering the Art of French Cooking with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle

1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking published

1962 WGBH (Boston) filmed pilots of The French Chef; soon syndicated to 96 PBS stations

1965 Received prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and an Emmy, on cover of Time the following year

1968 Lump in her breast, radical mastectomy

1980 ABC’s Good Morning America, her first regular commitment to commercial TV –2.5 minutes cooking segments

1992 80th birthday celebrated across U.S.

1993 Honorary doctorate from Harvard

1994 Paul died, having suffered strokes five years earlier

2000 Received France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur

2002 Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History exhibited Julia’s kitchen

2004 Died in Santa Barbara, CA, 2 days before 92nd birthday

Julia Child

First Lady of Food

In recent years, the Food Network has captured the imagination of Americans, and the art of cooking has transcended from “women’s work” to a hobby and passion for both men and women. But, before there was Rachael, Emeril or Paula, a tall, gangly woman with a preposterous voice and joy of life revolutionized the art of cooking for Americans. In the 1960s, Julia Child brought her love of French cooking to the American public. She became an icon of gourmet cooking and, using her remarkable energy and humor, changed the way Americans thought about food, convincing a nation that anyone could create gourmet meals. Julia Child was truly an innovative person as she shared her own enthusiasm for food and, in turn, created a national obsession with cooking. The First Lady of Food, as she has been called, charmed the American public and the world with her joy of life and her passion for good food.

Changing America’s attitude toward food and cooking was no easy task. In the early 20th century, America was taught that food was a science, not an art, by individuals such as cookbook writer Fannie Farmer and scientist Wilber Atwater, who defined a calorie by scientific testing. As world wars brought the need for greater food production, agriculture began to be scientifically engineered. Innovations such as frozen food and convenience products swept the market in the 1950s. Americans were inundated with convenience products and cookbooks like Poppy Cannon’s The Can Opener Cookbook.

This was the America Julia Child returned to after living in Europe for more than a decade. While living in France, Julia found her passion for cooking and learned to love French food with all its rituals, techniques, and history. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Julia joined with two French women to write a book for American audiences, one that would take the mystique out of French cooking. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published in America in 1961.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking has become one of the most influential cookbooks in America. A recent Newsweek article stated that the book, “begat our current era of the Food Network, Top Chef and a ‘food writing’ section in bookstores.” Even the layout of the book was innovative. The pages were displayed in columns with ingredients and utensils listed in one column with directions alongside. The photographs, taken by Julia’s husband Paul, were considered to be


pioneering because they were taken over the cook’s shoulder, giving the reader the cook’s perspective.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this book. According to, a web blog on the history of food, Mastering the Art of French Cooking bridged the gap between the professional kitchen and home cooking. Julia’s book made formal French cooking understandable and achievable. Today, Americans are passionate about the art of cooking at home, and this could not have happened without Julia Child.

When Paul Child retired from diplomatic service, the couple moved home to America and Julia promoted the cookbook. In 1963, she appeared as a guest on a public television station show in Boston. On a whim, she decided the interview might be more interesting if she demonstrated her cooking, so she whipped up an omelet on camera. Although unexpected, the results pleased the producers. That year Julia began a television career that would span the next three decades and earn her a Peabody award (the highest award given for journalism) in 1965 and an Emmy in 1966.

Today, American cuisine is in an exciting phase. Regional traditions, fresh and local ingredients, and creative chefs offer Americans an opportunity to enjoy New American Cuisine. There were many chefs, cooks, writers, and editors that helped to create a food revolution in America. But no one would dispute that Julia Child was one of the most important people to influence this incredible change. Her cookbooks, television shows, and activism to bring national respect to the profession of cooking helped to influence a generation of Americans, making her one of the most important innovators of the era. Her energy and vitality changed the world with a hearty, “Bon Appétit!”


ADULT WORKSHOP: Food as Fellowship

Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4 p.m.

Ashland County Senior Citizen Center

Food has essential nutritional value, but it also brings people together. When you gather with family and friends, celebrate an important occasion or comfort your spirit, food becomes the center of the event. Join Karen Vuranch as she tells her own stories of food and family, including a poignant telling of learning to make strudel from her grandmother. Then, explore the role of food in our everyday lives. Audience members will be invited to share their own stories of how food connects us and becomes a part of our common memories, including food traditions in their own community and ethnic influences. Participants are encouraged to bring recipes to share.

YOUTH WORKSHOP: Stories of Food and Fun

Friday, July 19, 2024 at 2:30 p.m.

Ashland Public Library

Karen Vuranch has been a traditional storyteller for many years. Her stories are participatory and engaging in a lively tradition of old-time storytelling that are also educational and entertaining. The stories, centered around food, will range from traditional tales such as Stone Soup, where a stingy community learns to share, to modern stories such as the tender tale of The BakeShop Ghost.


Karen Vuranch is no stranger to Ashland audiences and has participated in a number of Ashland Chautauquas. She weaves together a love of history, a passion for stories and a sense of community. She has been a Chautauqua scholar, actor and storyteller for over 30 years. Karen recreates historical figures including Pearl Buck, Mother Jones, Clara Barton, Mary Draper Ingles, Grace O’Malley, Belle Starr, Julia Child, Laura Ingles Wilder, Edith Wharton, Gertrude Bell, and Cass Elliot. Her newest character is aviator Jackie Cochran. Karen graduated from Ashland University and recently retired from Concord University, where she was the Director of the Theatre Department.


SHaK is comprised of Roger Semer (singer, songwriter, and guitarist); singer Robin Holthouse, and Dean Kastran (singer, songwriter, and bassist). SHaK is a strong, beautiful mix of two and three part harmonies. Their songs are an eclectic assortment of classic rock and roll, folk, and country featuring hits from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. A typical set might include songs by The Beatles, The Eagles, The Byrds, The Everly Brothers, Peter & Gordon, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and countless others.


Backstage with Julia: My Years with Julia Child by Nancy Verde Barr

My Life in France by Julia Child (with Alex Prud’Homme)

A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen by Ann Cooper

Appetite For Life by Noel Riley Fitch

The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act by Alex Prud’homme

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto by Joan Readon

Julia Child and Alice Waters: Celebrating the Pleasures of the Table by Joan Reardon and M. F. K. Fisher

Late Achievers: Famous People Who Succeeded Late in Life by Laura Shapiro

Julia Child by Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz



1914 Born Joe Louis Barrows, in Chambers County, AL; father died in 1918

1921 Mother Lillie married Patrick Brooks (combined family had 16 children)

1933 Won AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) light heavyweight championship

1934 First professional fight vs. Jack Kracken

1935 Professional fight against former champion Primo Canarra. Married Marva Trotter

1936 Suffered first professional boxing defeat to Germany’s Max Schmeling, defeated Schmeling 2 years later

1937 Defeated James Braddock to become Heavyweight Champion of the World

1942 Gave up boxing career to join the Army as a private and met Jackie Robinson

1946 Mustered out of Army as Sergeant. Returned to boxing. Remarried Marva after 1945 divorce

1948 Retired as Heavyweight Champion

1949 Divorced by Marva. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to IRS. Came out of retirement

1951 Knocked through the ropes by Rocky Marciano at Madison Square Garden. Retired from boxing

1955 Married second wife Rose Morgan, annulled in 1958, married Martha Jefferson in 1959


After years of drugs, alcohol, and mental problems, health was failing; Frank Sinatra provided help and money for surgeries

1981 Died at age 66. President Reagan ordered full military honors. Buried at Arlington Cemetery

Joe Louis

Boxed Against Two Enemies: Racism and the Nazis

Bornin Lafayette, Alabama, Joe was young when his father, Munroe Barrows, was admitted to an asylum and died there. Joe’s mother, Lillie, took in laundry and held the family of eight children together. When Lillie remarried to Patrick Brooks, their family grew to 16 children. In 1926, the family moved north to Detroit, considered the land of opportunity for Negroes escaping the deeply segregated South. Joe continued schooling and began training in a gym.

After an impressive amateur career, Louis became a professional boxer in 1935. Under firm guidance and direction, he moved to Chicago and began preparing to become the next Negro World Boxing Champion. Louis was under specific restrictions regarding his companions, his clothing, and his demeanor in and out of the ring, so that whites would not feel threatened or antagonized by this Black man who was soundly pummeling white opponents.

In 1936, Louis fought former champion Max Schmeling, a German boxer held up as an example of the Aryan superiority sweeping across Germany. Louis was a favorite, but cockiness and new friends’ generous words distracted him. Louis stepped into the ring, and ten rounds later lay bruised and bewildered on the canvas. Schmeling got the physical victory and Hitler the psychological victory. The eyes and heart of every Negro American felt the devastation of this defeat. After this shock, Louis committed to never disappointing himself or his people again. Returning to a strict, isolated regimen, he worked to regain the faith of the people he felt deserved a Negro Champion.

In 1937, James Braddock, the heavyweight champion, was to fight Schmeling. But there was growing concern that if Schmeling won, he would be ordered back to Germany with the title and it would never return to the U.S.A. So it was decided that a Braddock vs. Louis fight would be much better received. Louis and Braddock squared off in Chicago. In the eighth round, Joe Louis earned the Heavyweight Boxing Championship by knocking out the reigning champ.

In 1938, as Germany began its march across Europe, Schmeling prepared a return to claim the championship and confirm the superiority of the white race by defeating Joe Louis. That matter was resolved two minutes and eight seconds into the first round of the match, as Schmeling lay sprawled across the canvas. Louis had thrown 50 punches in that short time. Joe Louis became a national symbol. Forcing a nation to choose between its long held racism or its strong and deeply rooted patriotism, it seemed, at least for the moment, that patriotism would prevail.

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Louis donated winnings from two


fights to the Army and Navy Relief Funds. He was criticized for it by the NAACP and other Negro leaders, citing the refusal of the two Funds to give assistance to families of Negro soldiers or sailors. But Louis thought it necessary to show white Americans that Negroes were good citizens and deserving of an equal status.

To further his support of cooperation between Whites and Negros, he joined the army as a private at a pay rate of $21 a month. Louis became a symbol of the sacrifice necessary to fight and defeat two enemies in the same war. He appeared in Army propaganda films with young actors like Ronald Reagan. He visited Army posts across the U.S. and around the world with future boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson. He even helped Jackie Robinson secure admittance into Officer Candidate School.

After the war, Louis returned to boxing, but was out of his prime. A series of marriages and divorces, trouble with the IRS, and bad business investments plagued his next twenty years. Joe Louis retired from boxing, undefeated, in 1949, but his financial problems forced him to return. In 1951 he was knocked through the ropes by a young Rocky Marciano. Joe hung up his gloves for good.

When Louis developed a serious heart condition, his lifelong friend, Frank Sinatra, flew Louis to his personal doctor and paid all the medical expenses. Louis died in April 1981. President Ronald Reagan made special arrangements for him to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.



Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Mill Run Place

Hasan has been engaging youth and adult audiences with his stories of courage, resilience and HOPE for more than 30 years. In this workshop he will share his new illustrated graphic poetry book The Race, which parallels his own challenges finding his own voice and the people that helped him find the courage to “be more” in the world. Using the book as a ‘jumping off point” youth will be empowered to explore what they can do to reach their own dreams and goals no matter how difficult their journey might be. Adult audiences will be encouraged to “Show up” as Hope Dealers in the stories of the youth they interact with every day.

ADULT WORKSHOP: We Were Standing Right There

Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 11 a.m. Council on Aging

This will be an engaging journey through the most challenging and pivotal moments of America’s journey to nationhood and beyond. It will examine the presence and contributions of African descendants at each of those important moments, even if they sometimes failed to be mentioned: Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the Revolutionary War; to York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; to Joe Louis, America’s hero. These rich accounts prove that America has always been strongest when its diverse and divergent citizens stepped forward together to uplift the greatest ideals that a nation has ever declared in marking its independence.


Hasan Davis, a Chautauqua scholar for more than 25 years, shares the stories of Angus Burleigh, York, and Joe Louis. He has become well-known for his powerful portrayals and insightful storytelling centering the presence of often unseen or ignored patriots who embodied the foundational values of our nation. Hasan is also a lawyer, juvenile justice advocate, author, and motivational speaker, known as the Hope Dealer. His unwavering commitment to improving the lives of youth wherever they encounter challenges has made him an influential figure. His personal journey from juvenile delinquent to Juris Doctor serves as a powerful testament to the transformative impact that adults can have when they champion the lives of children. He is a graduate of Berea College and the University of Kentucky College of Law.


The Steve Brown Jazz Trio consists of Steve Brown on piano and vocals, Dan Conwell on bass and Steve Berry on drums. The group plays together only occasionally, but the three musicians have had lots of experience performing together and with other groups.


The World Heavyweight Boxing Championship by John D. McCallum

Joe Louis: Hard Times Man by Randy Roberts

God and the Fight for Joe Louis: Why Black Lives Matter in the Boxing Ring and Beyond by Kevin Smith

Joe Louis: The Rise and Fall of the Brown Bomber by Jonathan Eig

Heroes without a Country by Donald McRae

Joe Louis: 50 Years an American Hero by Joe Louis Barrows

The 12 greatest rounds of boxing: the untold stories. Total Sports Illustrated (2003) by Ferdie Pacheco, M.D. and James Moskovitz

Joe Louis: My Life by Jeffery Hoffman

Fight of the Century: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling by Patrick Myler

The greatest fight of our generation: Louis vs. Schmeling by Lewis A. Erenberg



1900 Born in Philadelphia, attended St. Peter Claver Catholic School

1913 Married Merrit Purnsley (Buddy), stayed married less than a year

1917 Discovered by Black Vaudeville talent agents Braxton & Nugent, invited to Lincoln Theatre in Harlem and to Baltimore

1921 Signed by Black Swan Recording Label, by Columbia Label Records in 1925

1927 Appeared in Africana on Broadway

1929 Made Hollywood talkie film debut in On With the Show

1933 Received invitation to Cotton Club, also worked with Sammy Davis Jr., Irving Berlin, Vincent Minnelli

1936 Appeared in Carnegie Hall solo concert

1939 Appeared in Mamba’s Daughters, first Black female artist to star in a Broadway Drama; Tales of Manhattan (film), and on NBC in The Ethel Waters Show

1949 Received Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress in Pinky

1950 Appeared on Broadway in Mother of the Wedding. Best Actress NY Critics Circle. TV show Beulah, only Black female artist to have own TV sitcom

1951 His Eye is on the Sparrow autobiography published

1952 Received second Oscar nomination for film The Wedding

1972 To Me It’s Wonderful autobiography published

1977 Died in Chatsworth, CA

Ethel Waters

First Black Superstar of Stage, Radio, and Screen

Miss Ethel Waters set the pace in the first half of the 20th century. By 1930, she had become a superstar–perhaps the first Black superstar. Waters broke the color line time and time again and made room for actors, singers, dancers, composers and musicians. She had a tremendous impact in shaping American popular culture. Her fiery spirit blazed a way for many stars to follow and opened doors in the height of American segregation, Jim Crow laws, and bigotry of the worst kind. At the turn of the 20th century, Waters grew up in the impoverished red-light district of Philadelphia and survived the violent and abusive circumstances into which she was born. She learned to talk and sing herself out of trouble. At seventeen, she started performing at the “open mic” nights at Jack’s Rathskeller in Philly. These neighborhood clubs were visited regularly by Black New York agents representing the Black Vaudeville houses. When agents Nugent and Braxton saw Ethel perform, they promised her two weeks of work at the Lincoln Theater in Baltimore. Waters sang her way from the slums of Chester, Pennsylvania to a lavish apartment on Harlem’s “Sugar Hill.” At one time bankrupt (1929), then four years later she was the highest paid woman on Broadway (1933). In 1921, on Black Swan label, owned by W.C. Handy, Waters was paid $100 to sing Down Home Blues and Oh, Daddy. She was the first Black woman to be billed above the title of a show, the first Black woman to be nominated for an Oscar (not once but twice), to have a regular radio program (1933), and to appear on television (1939). Her 100+ hits include: Georgia on My Mind, Stormy Weather, Am I Blue, St. Louis Blues, Heat Wave, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Miss Otis Regrets, Taking a Chance on Love. She will always be known for Supper Time and His Eye is on the Sparrow. Though Waters never learned to read music, her musicality became the standard for ballad singers everywhere. Waters’ songs told stories and emphasized her acting ability. Her stage presence could be subtle and sophisticated, then low-down and raw with emotion, ever compelling. Hundreds of movies were made for the local segregated cinemas featuring all colored casts for their segregated clientele. There were gangsters, cowboys, detectives, steamy romances, morality and religious films, even horror. There was no shortage of good actors. There was simply no


opportunity for them to display the range of their abilities outside of the “race films.” Ethel Waters appeared in two such all-Black-cast comedy film shorts: Rufus Jones for President (1933), starring eight-year-old Sammy Davis Jr., and Bubbling Over (1934).

The Intrepid Ethel Waters dealt with Hollywood on her own terms. Since she thought of herself as a night club and recording artist, she didn’t take Hollywood seriously. Studios would designate big-name Black performers as a specialty act, so if they needed to shorten a film or appeal to Southern tastes, they could simply cut out that part. Even big names like Duke Ellington were used as specialty acts within feature films. Black actors were not essential to the plot, never cast in the leading roles, and so were expendable. Waters knew that. She was given two numbers to perform in On With the Show! (1929), then packed her bags and returned to the Orpheum circuit. Hollywood was not a friendly place for serious or dramatic Black film stars.

Hollywood decided to produce a successful all-Black Broadway production. MGM turned Cabin in the Sky (1943) into a feature film with an all-Black cast and Waters as the star. Later, Waters took roles in white “problem picture” films that focused on race such as Pinky (1949) and received the second Oscar nomination for an African-American woman as best supporting actress. She was the only Black actor in the film. In 1952, Waters was cast as the “earth mother” figure in The Member of the Wedding; again she was the only Black actor in the film.

Waters was plagued by racism and stereotyping throughout her long career, yet she pushed back against it and made a stand to break open stereotypes of Black women. Then, at last she found herself at home in the spiritual world of forgiveness and peace with the Billy Graham Crusades–in the bosom of Jesus–singing all the way.


ADULT WORKSHOP: Name that Tune: Sing-Along with the Oldies

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 10 a.m.

Loudonville Public Library/Golden Center in Library basement meeting room

A new interactive program combining stories and songs, with sing-alongs from the 1920s to the 1950s.

YOUTH WORKSHOP: Growing up in the 1920s: African American Expressive Art

Friday, July 19, 2024 at 10 a.m.

YMCA Youth Camp at Myers Memorial Band Shell

A fun interactive workshop for young and old alike. Growing up in the 1920s, children of African descent participated in dances, songs, games, riddles, rhymes, and learned the history of these art forms. Art forms are an important part of a culture’s delivery system of its values. They carry the life survival skills that continue to enrich American culture and life today. In the search for African roots in African American culture, one of the best sources is children’s games. Through this interactive workshop, we get an inside look at the source of resilience and creativity fostered in children of African descent in America and the roots of some of those lifelines. The Young in Heart should come dressed for an hour of fun and play!


Ilene Evans is an inventive storyteller weaving music, dance, and drama to bring history alive. Ms. Evans creates educational theater programs and workshops that span a vast range of arts and humanities as artistic director of the theater company Voices from the Earth. Ms. Evans received her B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Trinity College in Deerfield, IL and her M.A. (Storytelling) at East Tennessee State University. As a Chautauqua scholar, she has developed presentations of historical women who have contributed to the wealth and welfare of our broader community. Other significant women of color she portrays are Carrie Williams, Coralie Franklin Cook, Memphis Tennessee Garrison, and Bessie Coleman. She has toured extensively internationally presenting original historical works and sharing African American history and culture. She received the Foundation of Freedom Award from Wheeling Jesuit University for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman.


Mary Spayd and Glenn Armstrong have performed together for over 20 years in tribute bands and as a duo since 2009. Their concerts feature Mary’s amazing vocal talents and Glenn’s masterfully expressive bass guitar and music production. They incorporate their many years of experience to present a high-quality and energetic live music performance, where the biggest music of yesterday remains alive today!


The American Songbook: The singers, the songwriters and the songs by Ken Bloom

Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ethel Waters by Donald Bogle

Ethel Waters: Stormy Weather by Steven Bourne

Harlem Renaissance: Lives from the African American National Biography by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

“Waters, Ethel” in African American National Biography, Eds. Henry Louis Gates Jr. & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham by Glenda E. Gill

Literary Adaptations in Black American Cinema: From Micheaux to Morrison by Barbara Tepa Lupack

His Eye is on the Sparrow: An Autobiography by Ethel Waters (with Charles Samuels) To Me It’s Wonderful by Ethel Waters



1903 Born in Indianapolis, IN

1923 Joined Navy, then deserted in first month

’24-’29 Married to Beryl Ethel Hovious

1933 Paroled after a nearly 9-year sentence for robbery

1933 (July 17) Daleville, IN bank robbery earned Dillinger the nickname “Jackrabbit”

1933 (Sept. 22) Captured in Dayton, OH

1933 (Oct. 13) Escaped from Lima, OH jail

1934 (Jan. 15) Dillinger killed Detective O’Malley during a bank job in East Chicago, IN

1934 (late Jan.) Dillinger gang captured in Tucson, AZ

1934 (Mar. 3) Escaped from Crown Point Prison (Indiana)

1934 (Apr. 4-6) Visited family home in Mooresville, IN

1934 (Apr. 22) Fled from Feds after shootout at the Little Bohemia Resort (Wisconsin)

1934 (May) Bank heists in Fostoria and Galion, OH

1934 (May 28) Had plastic surgery performed on face

1934 (July 22) Shot to death at the Biograph Theatre in Chicago

John Dillinger

John Dillinger escaped from the Crown Point (Indiana) Prison in March of 1934. According to witnesses, he used a homemade wooden gun to persuade a guard into letting him out of his cell. After taking the guard’s non-wooden gun, Dillinger was able to lock up other guards and walk out of prison. He drove away in the sheriff’s car. The previous October, Dillinger had been freed from a jail in Lima (Ohio) by a group of associates he’d met in Michigan City. There followed a rampant series of bank robberies across the Midwest. Newspapers flaunted glaring headlines. News reels detailed the audacity.

No less prominent a figure than President Franklin Roosevelt remarked upon the national zeitgeist, “Law enforcement and gangster extermination cannot be made completely effective while a substantial part of the public looks with tolerance upon known criminals, or applauds efforts to romanticize crime.”

There is no historical record of actual applause for Dillinger’s crimes. There was, however, at least one group who advocated for leniency toward John’s offenses. Citizens of Mooresville petitioned Indiana Governor Paul V. McNutt, “It is our belief that Dillinger fell into the wrong channel of life in his youth, from which escape is almost impossible.”

Although this is a very generous appraisal, there is at least a thread to the cloth. Born in 1903, Dillinger’s mother died before he was four years old. Raised by his father and an older sister, John was frequently reprimanded for bad behavior. Caught stealing coal from a railroad car at the age of ten, a judge shouted at John that his “mind [was] crippled!” At eighteen years old, Dillinger served a short tenure in the Navy; he went AWOL in his first month of service. Dillinger became an avid reader, principally interested in stories about the outlaw Jesse James. The same year he became obsessed with dime novels, John Dillinger was convicted for an ill-conceived robbery. He was sentenced to ten-to-twenty years. Dillinger became acquainted with a new mythos from fellow inmates about legendary bank robbers like Herman Lamm. When Dillinger was paroled in May of 1933, he re-entered a society in the midst of The Great Depression. He had few prospects other than an education in crime.

One man unsympathetic to Dillinger’s plight was J. Edgar Hoover. His Division of Investigation primarily worked cases involving enforcement of the Mann Act (transporting women illegally across state lines), the Dyer Act (stolen vehicles across state lines) and crimes on Native American reservations.


Dillinger made another unbelievable escape in April. Federal agents were tipped that he was hiding out at a remote resort in Wisconsin. The agents did not catch Dillinger; they did shoot upon a car of civilians. More news stories followed.

Hoover decided that capture was no longer the objective. John Dillinger became America’s first Public Enemy Number One.

July 22, 1934: Chicago—Americans love an escape.

The air conditioned Biograph Theatre is a great oasis in the hottest week of summer. Manhattan Melodrama is the feature. The film stars Clark Gable and William Powell but the biggest celebrity playing at the Biograph tonight is a figure seated in the auditorium. His name is Jimmy Lawrence, a clerk from the Board of Trade. Smartly dressed and wearing wire-rimmed glasses, he arrived at the Biograph with two female companions. One of them wears a white blouse with an orange skirt.

Hiding in plain sight is just the latest gambit for Jimmy Lawrence.

Manhattan Melodrama meets its dramatic conclusion as the character Blackie Gallagher laments, “Die the way you lived, all of a sudden, that’s the way to go.”

Next, America’s most notorious celebrity stands and stretches before taking the hand of Polly Hamilton. Jimmy Lawrence is no clerk for the Board of Trade. In fact, Jimmy Lawrence is not even Jimmy Lawrence. The woman in the white blouse and orange skirt stands as well and follows the pair. Her name is Anna Sage.

J. Edgar Hoover’s mood had galvanized days earlier when Anna Sage had reached out. She knew a man who looked a lot like the man who had often been pictured in the newspapers. He liked going out to the movies, she had told Hoover’s agents.

Out of the Biograph and onto Lincoln Avenue, the last exit Dillinger ever made was in the tradition of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Fade to black.


YOUTH WORKSHOP: Kick the Can and Feed the Chickens

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Salvation Army Kroc Center

Long before John Dillinger was known as a notorious outlaw, he was a boy growing up in rural Indiana. What was it like to be a kid in the early 1900’s? In this interactive workshop, participants will try out games and activities enjoyed by children from that era. They will also learn about the kinds of responsibilities children had while living on a farm.


Featured Felons and the Golden Age of Cinema

Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 2:30 p.m.

Ashland Public Library

John Dillinger was killed moments after leaving the movies on July 22, 1934. The film he had just watched starred Clark Gable and William Powell and was part of a film genre increasingly influenced by the crime wave of 1933-34. This presentation will reveal how news reels of the time expanded the American appetite for American crime dramas and what happened when films were forced to adapt to the strict rules of the Hays Code.


Jeremy Meier serves as the Chair of Fine and Performing Arts at Owens Community College in Northwest Ohio. At Owens, Jeremy has directed nineteen student productions including Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe and Noises Off. Ashland audiences last saw Jeremy in his portrayal of John Dillinger way back in 2005 as part of Ohio Chautauqua’s The Roaring Twenties. Meier holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from Central Michigan University and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the Ohio State University. In addition to his portrayal of Dillinger, Meier also has developed programs on Steve Jobs, Robert Kennedy and Oliver Hazard Perry. He is currently researching and developing a program on Charles Chaplin.


Since 2004 Jackson has performed her original material with a consistent schedule that takes her all across the country. From house concerts to festivals Jackson is the original package… the guitar, the voice, the stories. She says “As a kid I dealt with abuse and in many ways music saved and shaped my life. It allowed me to release anger and sadness as a child and now as an adult it allows me to connect and continue to grow and heal.” She has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music and in 2019 she placed in the semifinals as a solo artist at the International Blues Competition in Memphis, Tennessee. With awards for both musicianship and songwriting, her shows are constructed to both entertain and inspire and there is something for everyone.


Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 by Bryan Burrough

Dillinger: A Short and Violent Life by Robert Cromie & Joseph Pinkston

Dillinger’s Wild Ride: The Year That Made America’s Public Enemy Number One by Elliot Gorn

Dillinger: The Life and Death of America’s First Celebrity Criminal by Dary Matera

The Dillinger Days by John Toland



1897 Born in Atchison, KS

1920 Took her first flight with Frank Hawks

1922 Set an unofficial women’s flying altitude record of 14,000 feet

1928 Recognized as the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger. Wrote 20 Hrs. 40 Min. First transcontinental flight by a woman

1929 Competed in Women’s Air Derby (Santa Monica to Cleveland) - 3rd place. Helped organize The Ninety-Nines

1931 Became the first president of The Ninety-Nines. Married George Palmer Putnam

1932 Wrote The Fun of It. Became first woman (second person) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Awarded the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society. Won the Harmon Trophy as America’s Outstanding Airwoman

1935 First to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii to Oakland. First to fly solo from California to Mexico City. First woman to compete in the National Air Races in Cleveland, OH

1936 Took delivery of Lockheed twin-engined airplane financed by Purdue University

1937 Began round-the-world flight. Disappeared near Howland Island on July 2

Amelia Earhart

The Spirit of Adventure

Amelia’s mark on the social and cultural canvas of American life is significant and enduring. Over 85 years have passed since Amelia disappeared, but to many she still represents the courage and determination to dream, and the sheer delight in adventure and beauty that touches one’s soul deeply. Amelia lives on, not just because her death is a mystery, but because her life is an inspiration.

Amelia said, “Ours is the commencement of a flying age, and I am happy to have popped into existence at a period so interesting.” Amelia’s life story reveals the developing world view at a transformational time for our nation and its people. New frontiers opened with the development of the machine age and aviation, as with women getting the vote and their ongoing struggle for equality and opportunity. As a pioneer on the social frontier, Amelia pushed through social expectations even from a young age, pursuing interests and activities not considered proper for a young lady. Overcoming her transient childhood and an alcoholic father, she continued to look for meaning and adventure in her life. She continued pursuing her interests despite there being no easy path laid before her. Amelia, in the spirit of a true explorer, focused her interests and passions, boldly going where few women had gone before.

Amelia’s career in aviation began with the Friendship flight in 1928. She was celebrated as the First Woman to Cross the Atlantic by aero plane, an American hero to all during a time of national obsession with record setting and record breaking. The world suddenly started looking at Americans as trend-setters. Amelia was an American and a woman–a role model for women wanting to break out of traditional roles and redefine themselves.

As Amelia grew accustomed to living in the public eye, she handled the attention of the media and public with unusual grace. At the same time, she was painfully aware that there were other women pilots as good or better than herself–a fact that kept her working hard at her flying skills. Amelia’s accomplishments and popularity cannot be understood outside of the context of her husband and promoter, G.P. Putman. Even after five years of marriage, she still referred to him as “The Management.” G.P. was tenacious about promoting Amelia above all of her equally accomplished, if not more capable, peers. Starting out as business partners and then reluctantly agreeing to his marriage proposal, Amelia referred to their non-traditional arrangement as a “reasonable and contented partnership… a style of dual control.” Amelia kept her given name and G.P. often joked that he was referred to as “Mr. Earhart!”

Amelia’s involvement in aviation included a deep commitment to the development and expansion of the aviation industry. Industry leaders recognized her ability to influence society and wanted to capitalize on


her status. Amelia had what she called a “missionary zeal for the cause of aviation,” and took her ability to influence the American public seriously. Amelia worked closely with the newly developing industry, helping to pave the way for people to look at travel by airplane as a viable and reliable means of transportation.

Amelia was a founder and president of the “Ninety-Nines”, an organization of women pilots providing mutual support and the advancement of aviation. Feeling strongly about women’s rights, she spoke often of her desire for women to be free to pursue opportunity based on aptitude and interest.

Amelia served as a career counselor and mentor to the female students at Purdue University. Thanks to Purdue’s President Elliot and the Purdue Research Foundation, Amelia was given a two-motored Lockheed Electra. The first project for her Lockheed “Flying Laboratory” was an aroundthe-world flight. Unfortunately, this was Amelia’s last adventure. Though theories about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart abound, the lack of any conclusive evidence has supported the immortality of her name and image.

Amelia once said, “It is true that there are no more geographical frontiers to push back, no new lands flowing with milk and honey this side of the moon to promise surcease from man-made ills. But there are economic, political, scientific and artistic frontiers of the most exciting sort awaiting faith and the spirit of adventure to discover them.” Those new frontiers still exist today. For those who push against limitations, who have the courage to dream, or are willing to embark on new adventures–no matter the cost–may the life of Amelia Earhart serve as an inspiration.


ADULT WORKSHOP: The Final Flight into Mystery

Tuesday, July 17, 2024 at 2:30 p.m.

Ashland Public Library

“What happened to Amelia?” Everyone still wants to know. Theories are many and varied, from the plausible to the improbable. Was she captured by the Japanese and forced to broadcast to American GIs as “Tokyo Rose?” Did she head north on a clandestine spy mission for the American government? Or, did she plan her disappearance and live out her days as a New Jersey housewife? From the factual to the outrageous, from fascinating to amusing, hear about the last flight of Amelia Earhart and the mystery behind her disappearance. There are also some exciting new developments in the news today! Includes maps and other visuals plus time for Q&A.

YOUTH WORKSHOP: Singing & Storytelling

Friday, July 19, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Salvation Army Kroc Center

Elsa Wolff is known throughout Colorado as “The Guitar Lady,” singing and telling stories to children of all ages. Her motto is, “Music lifts the heart – Stories spark the imagination.”

Join Elsa for a program which includes active sing-along-songs, puppet interactions and a variety of story-telling methods, as the themes of adventure and courage are explored. Children will leave with a smile and maybe even a new song to sing! Appropriate for ages K-3.


Elsa Wolff, entertainer and educator, has been performing, teaching, singing and storytelling since 1997. Elsa, also known as “The Guitar Lady,” performs for elementary-age children, as well as senior citizens, throughout the Denver area. In 2008, Elsa added Living History to her pursuits as she began portraying Amelia Earhart. Soon afterward, she added Minnie Pearl, Maria von Trapp and Annie Oakley to her repertoire. With excitement for this format of experiencing history, Elsa also became involved in Colorado Humanities’ Young Chautauqua Program and enjoys coaching students of all ages. Elsa earned a Bachelor’s degree in German from Willamette University, including several years of study abroad. She is a mother of 4 and lives in her native Colorado. Website:


Ted Yoder, critically acclaimed musician, is widely considered “the Bela Fleck of the hammered dulcimer.” His recorded body of work has garnered him plaudits from the jam band community, the folk scene and music lovers of all ages. When he plays live, everyone becomes a fan.


20 Hrs., 40 Min. by Amelia Earhart

The Fun of It by Amelia Earhart

Last Flight by Amelia Earhart (Compiled by G.P. Putnam in 1937)

Biography: Amelia Earhart, Queen of the Air by Greystone Communications for A&E Network

The Sound of Wings by Mary S. Lovell

Amelia, My Courageous Sister: Biography of Amelia Earhart by Muriel Earhart Morrissey & Carol L. Osborne

Soaring Wings by George Putnam

Programs provided by Truax Printing, Inc. | A proud sponsor of the Ashland Chautauqua. QUALITY IMPRESSIONS SINCE 1966 425 E. Haskell Street, Loudonville, Ohio 44842 p: 419.994.4166 • f: 419.994.4617 • FULL SERVICE COMMERCIAL PRINTING Graphic Design . Mailing Services . Stationary . Book Manufacturing and so much more!
Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling 1936


is made possible with additional support from:


Jeannie Todaro

Karen Vuranch


Bob & Jan Archer

Malabar Farm Foundation

Peace Lutheran Endowment


Alan & Mary-Rose Anderson

Armstrong Group

John & Lori Byron

Starr & Jim Dobush

David & Debora Gray

Rob Hovis

Mike & Seiko Hupfer

Al King

Paullin Sealcoating, LLC

Tom & Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

Tom & Barb Slabaugh

Dorothy Stratton

John & Doris Wanamaker

Mike & Judy White

Susan Whitted

Robert & Patricia Young

IMPRESSION ($100-$149)

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Ashland Noon Lions

Teresa Durbin-Ames & Larry Ames

Tedd & Dyan Boli

Harshman Family Charitable Fund

Main Street Bank

(formerly Wayne Savings Community Bank)

Mt. Hope Lutheran Church

Karen Vuranch

ECHO ($50-$99)

Erin Beebe

Henley Graphics

John & Penny Miller


Ashland Board of Realtors

Ashland County Park District

Ashland Main Street

Ashland Public Library

Ashland University

Tommy & Laurie Beech

Explore Ashland

Farmers State Bank

Hampton Inn & Suites

Mike Ruhe

WebDev Works, LLC


Donations are greatly appreciated to sustain Ashland Chautauqua from year to year. Please give what you can through audience donation, by going to our website ( or by sending contributions to: Ashland Chautauqua, PO Box 611, Ashland, Ohio 44805


Honor 25 years of Ashland Chautauqua with a donation to the endowment

In 2020, Ashland Chautauqua applied and was selected to participate in the Ashland County Community Foundation (ACCF) Silver Anniversary Agency Endowment Challenge. The planning committee met the challenge by raising $5,000, which was matched by ACCF to create a $10,000 endowment fund. The endowment provides Ashland Chautauqua with an additional source of funding for special projects and/or to expand features of the popular regular summer programming. It does not replace the annual donations to Ashland Chautauqua, which sustain the five evening performances and the workshops every summer. Contributions by donors and pass-the-hat gifts during the events are vital funding sources of Ashland Chautauqua’s annual budget income. Continuing to grow the endowment helps to provide additional funding each year for expansion, stability, and special projects. Please consider giving a special gift this year in recognition of our Silver Celebration. Donations can be made online at or by mailing a check with “Ashland Chautauqua Agency Fund” in the memo line to: Ashland County Community Foundation, 300 College Ave., Ashland, Ohio 44805. Thank you!

Silver Anniversar 25 years 2024 2000

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2000: Creating the 20th Century: Ohio Voices

3 Branch Rickey - John C. “Chuck” Chalberg

3 Thomas Edison – Hank Fincken

3 Paul Laurence Dunbar – Herbert Martin

3 Victoria Woodhull – Sarah Longman Payne

3 John D. Rockefeller - Damian Bowerman

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2001: Buckeyes in the Civil War

3 Ulysses S. Grant – George Dauler

3 Sojourner Truth – Annette Jefferson

3 William Tecumseh Sherman – Ted Kachel

3 George Armstrong Custer – Jeremy Meier

3 Emma Edmonds – Karen Vuranch

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2002: The Ohio Frontier

3 John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)

– Hank Fincken

3 Mary Draper Ingles – Karen Vuranch

3 Margaret Blennerhassett – Debra Conner

3 Chief John Logan – Dan Cutler

3 Simon Kenton – Ken Hammontree

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2003: World War II at Home & Abroad

3 Dwight D. Eisenhower – Ken Hammontree

3 Harry Truman – Noel Pugach

3 Ernie Pyle – Michael Hughes

3 Eleanor Roosevelt - Tanya Griffith

3 Ashland Memories of World War II Written/Directed by Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2004: The Wild, Wild West

3 Buffalo Bill Cody – Peter Sherayko

3 Molly Brown – Tanya Griffith

3 Calamity Jane – Leah Schwartz

3 Jim Bridger – Michael Hughes

3 Wyatt Earp – Wyatt Earp

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2005: The Roaring Twenties

3 John Dillinger – Jeremy Meier

3 Zora Neale Hurston – Dorothy Mains Prince

3 Zelda Fitzgerald – Debra Conner

3 Babe Ruth – Gene Worthington

3 Henry Ford – Hank Fincken

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2006: The Great Depression

3 Franklin D. Roosevelt – Ed Beardsley

3 George Orwell – John C. “Chuck” Chalberg

3 Margaret Mitchell – Debra Conner

3 Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd – Ken Hammontree

3 Quilted Memories: Ashland County and the Great Depression – Written/Directed by Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2007: Sport & Society

3 Howard Cosell – John Moser

3 Bobby Jones – John C. “Chuck” Chalberg

3 Alta Weiss – Susan Brewer

3 Jackie Robinson – Greg Kenney

3 Joe Louis – Hasan Davis

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2008: Literary Legends

3 Mark Twain – George Frein

3 Harriet Beecher Stowe – Emma Palzere Rae

3 Henry David Thoreau – Kevin Radaker

3 Emily Dickinson – Debra Conner

3 Edgar Allen Poe – David Skipper

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2009: American Dreams: Progress in Business & Industry

3 Walt Disney – Bill Worley

3 Julia Childs – Karen Vuranch

3 Benjamin Franklin – Christopher Lowell

3 Juana Briones – Olga Loya

3 Ashland County Dreamers –Written/Directed by Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

OHIO CHAUTAUQUA 2010: The 1930s

3 W. C. Fields – Hank Fincken

3 Margaret Mitchell – Debra Conner

3 Paul Robeson – Marvin Jefferson

3 Eleanor Roosevelt – Susan Marie Frontczak

3 Orson Welles – Michael Hughes

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2011: Adventurers & Explorers

3 Christopher Columbus – Hank Fincken

3 Theodore Roosevelt – John C. “Chuck” Chalberg

3 Amelia Earhart – Elsa Wolff

3 Francisco Pizarro – Hank Fincken

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2012: The Fabulous Fifties

3 Pee Wee Reese – Dick Usher

3 Joseph McCarthy – John Moser

3 Rachel Carson – Dianne Moran

3 Pearl Buck – Karen Vuranch

3 Sarah Ophelia Colley (Minnie Pearl) – Elsa Wolff

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2013: Legends of the Silver Screen

3 Jack Warner – Doug Mischler

3 Ethel Waters – Ilene Evans

3 William Faulkner – John Dennis Anderson

3 D. W. Griffith – Doug Mischler

3 Louella Parsons – Karen Vuranch

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2014: Poetry & Prose

3 Robert Frost – John Dennis Anderson

3 Ted Geisel – George Frein

3 C. S. Lewis – Kevin Radaker

3 Miep Gies – Dianne Moran

3 Edith Wharton – Karen Vuranch

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2015: 200 Years of Progress, Celebrating Ashland’s Bicentennial

3 Louis Bromfield – John Dennis Anderson

3 Woodrow Wilson – Bill Young

3 Carrie Chapman Catt – Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

3Ashland Memories of World War II

– Written by Deleasa Randall-Griffiths

3 Dr. Mary Walker – Debra Conner

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2016: Voices of Freedom

3 Harriet Tubman – Ilene Evans

3 Lucy Stone – Judith Black

3 Mary Chesnut – Dianne Moran

3 Frederick Douglass – Charles Everett Pace

3 Clara Barton – Karen Vuranch

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2017: Voices of Courage

3 Rosa Parks – Becky Stone

3 Bessie Coleman – Ilene Evans

3 Mother Jones – Karen Vuranch

3 Maria Von Trapp – Elsa Wolff

3 Martin Luther King Jr. – Marvin Jefferson 2000-2024



ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2018: Oceans, Rivers, and Seas

3 Herman Melville – George Frein

3 Grace O’Malley – Karen Vuranch

3 Henry Beston – John Dennis Anderson

3 Edith Russell – Debra Conner

3 York – Hasan Davis

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2019: Art & Innovation

3 Maya Angelou – Becky Stone

3 John James Audubon – Brian “Fox” Ellis

3 Josephine Baker – Vernice Jackson

3 Coco Chanel – Annette Baldwin

3 Will Rogers – Doug Watson

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2020: Chautauqua Conversations (virtual)

3 Living History Pioneers

3 A Cultivated Friendship

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2021: In Times of War

3 Ernest Hemingway – John Dennis Anderson

3 Gertrude Bell – Karen Vuranch

3 General Benjamin O. Davis – Jim Armstead

3 Coralie Franklin Cook – Ilene Evans

3 Winston Churchill – Kevin Radaker

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2022: The Famous & Infamous

3 Lizzie Borden – Leslie Goddard

3 Malcolm X – Darrick Johnson

3 Mary Surratt – Dianne Moran

3 Marie Curie – Susan Marie Frontczak

3 Annie Oakley – Elsa Wolff


ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2023: History’s Real Action Figures

3 Meriwether Lewis – Brian “Fox” Ellis

3 Jackie Cochran – Karen Vuranch

3 Pauli Murray – Becky Stone

3 Samuel Bellamy – Joey Madia

3 Harry Houdini – Larry Bounds

ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2024: Silver Celebration: A Trip Down Memory Lane

3 Louis Bromfield – John Dennis Anderson (April Special Events)

3 Edith Wharton - Karen Vuranch (April Special Events)

3 Julia Child – Karen Vuranch

3 Joe Louis – Hasan Davis

3 Ethel Waters – Ilene Evans

3 John Dillinger – Jeremy Meier

3 Amelia Earhart – Elsa Wolff

Tricia Smith Calver | 2002 Tanya Griffith as Eleanor Roosevelt | 2003 Ilene Evans - Youth Workshop | 2016 Elsa Wolff - Youth Workshop | 2022 Fabulous Fifties Troupe | 2012 Troupe Photo | 2002 Coffee with the Scholars | 2022
Leslie Goddard as Lizzie Borden | 2022 George Frein as Herman Melville | 2018 Darrick Johnson as Malcolm X | 2022 John Dennis Anderson as Henry Beston | 2018 Susan Marie Frontczak as Marie Curie | 2022 Elsa Wolff as Annie Oakley | 2022 Vernice Jackson as Josephine Baker | 2019 Brian “Fox” Ellis as Meriwether Lewis | 2019 Debra Conner as Edith Russell | 2018 Karen Vuranch as Jackie Cochran | 2023 Becky Stone as Maya Angelou | 2019 Becky Stone as Pauli Murray | 2023 John Dennis Anderson as Robert Frost | 2014 George Frein as Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) | 2014 Karen Vuranch as Edith Wharton | 2014 Charles Everett Pace as Frederick Douglass | 2016 Doug Watson as Will Rogers | 2019 Dianne Moran as Mary Chestnut | 2016 Dianne Moran as Calamnity Jane | 2019 Doug Mischler as D.W. Griffith | 2013 Joey Madia as Samuel Bellamy | 2023 Brian “Fox” Ellis as John James Audubon | 2019 Larry Bounds as Harry Houdini | 2023 Annette Baldwin as Coco Chanel | 2019



Judith Black as Lucy Stone | 2016 Karen Vuranch as Mother Jones | 2017 Ilene Evans as Harriet Tubman | 2016 Susan Marie Frontczak as Eleanor Roosevelt | 2010 Elsa Wolff as Maria Von Trapp | 2017 Michael Hughes as Orson Wells | 2010 Hank Fincken as W.C. Fields | 2010 Ilene Evans as Coralie Franklin Cook | 2021 Ilene Evans as Bessie Coleman | 2017 John Dennis Anderson as Ernest Hemingway | 2021 Marvin Jefferson as Paul Robeson | 2010 Karen Vuranch as Gertrude Bell | 2021 Noel Pugach as Harry Truman | 2003 Paul Agee as F. E. Myers | 2009 Kevin Radaker as C.S. Lewis | 2014 Karen Vuranch as Grace O’Malley | 2018 Annette Jefferson as Sojourner Truth | 2001 Bill Worley as Walt Disney | 2009 Matthew Guion as Hugo Young | 2009 Olga Loya as Juana Briones | 2009 Kevin Radaker as Winston Churchill | 2021 Debra Conner as Dr. Mary Walker | 2015 Dave Kowalka as J. L. Clark | 2009 Bill Young as Woodrow Wilson | 2015


The modern Chautauqua movement lost two of its founding members this past year: George Frein on October 4, 2023 and Charles Everett Pace on April 11, 2024. Both names will be familiar to Ashland Chautauqua audiences. George was here three times, as Mark Twain in 2008, Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) in 2014, and Herman Melville in 2018. Charles portrayed Frederick Douglass in 2016. Both were kind and generous men, sharing their love of history and their talent for entertaining Chautauqua audiences across the country. We are saddened by their passing but feel so fortunate that they shared their talents here in Ashland. George and Charles participated in our 2020 virtual event “Living History Pioneers.” These recordings are available on our YouTube Channel (




Attend all five evening performances of the 2024 Silver Celebration for your chance to win! Pick up your 5-Nighter Passport card on Tuesday and ensure it is stamped each night by an Ashland Chautauqua Committee member. Following the final performance on Saturday night, one completed passport will be drawn as our grand prize winner!


Ashland Chautauqua seat cushions are available with a donation at the Information Table.


Do you know a club, organization, business, church group, class, or other group of individuals who would be interested in learning more about Ashland Chautauqua? We would love to share our story! Contact us at 419-281-4584 or


Deleasa Randall-Griffiths Ashland University

Laurie Beech Retired from McCready Interiors

Lori Byron Ashland University

Amy Daubenspeck Ashland Chamber of Commerce/ Explore Ashland

Starr Dobush OCALI Lifespan Transition Center

Barb Slabaugh Wayne County Community Foundation

Dorothy Stratton Ashland University (Professor Emerita)

Former Member: Judith Webster Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell

FOUNDING MEMBER: Tricia Smith Calver Ohio Northern University


Staging and transportation of staging provided by Ashland University

Staging storage provided by Ashland County Park District

Website Design and Technical Development provided by WebDev Works, LLC


Join us for an informal gathering with the scholars and committee members for a casual conversation. Ask a scholar a question, hear more about the scholars, or learn about the characters the scholars portray. This will be held in the Community Room at the Ashland Board of Realtors (107 E Main Street) on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning from 9 - 10 a.m.


4 Demand for communication skills is high, and job opportunities continue to expand.

4 Curriculum focuses on problem-solving skills, ability to work in a team, communication skills, leadership, flexibility/adaptability, interpersonal skills, organizational ability, strategic planning skills and tactfulness.

4 Flexible way to complete an unfinished degree, accomplish higher education goals to advance your career, or explore a broad range of new career opportunities.

4 100% online delivery.

program was designed for busy professionals, as well as service members and veterans, who juggle multiple responsibilities and want flexibility to advance their strategic communication careers in various industries and organizational settings.

H SILVER CELEBRATION H 21 For more information, visit Office of Admissions | 419-289-5738 | For more information, visit Office of Admissions | 419-289-5738 | BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES – ONLINE
MASTER OF ARTS IN STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION & LEADERSHIP 4 100% asynchronous online program 4 8-week terms 4
can graduate
months 4
to earn
master’s degree 4
available This
in as little as 18
30 credit hours
Stackable graduate certificate options
211 Claremont Avenue, Ashland • 877-581-2345 Adventure Awaits in Ashland! 22 H ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2024 H
15-19, 2025 26TH ANNUAL . . . . . . . . . 2025 CHAUTAUQUA
businessman, inventor and co-founder of Apple,
workers-rights advocate & U.S. Secretary of Labor Larry
German American aerospace engineer and space architect Anne
teacher and lifelong companion of Helen Keller
Jeremy Meier as Steve
Randall-Griffiths as Frances Perkins
Bounds as Werner von Braun
Pasquale as Annie Sullivan
Leslie Goddard as Lucille Ball
actor, comedian, producer
studio owner
24 H ASHLAND CHAUTAUQUA 2024 H EVENING PROGRAM SITE Myers Memorial Band Shell 209 Parkside Drive, Ashland COFFEE WITH THE SCHOLARS Ashland Board of Realtors 107 E. Main Street, Ashland RAIN SITE Hugo Young Theatre, Ashland University 331 College Avenue, Ashland (Use Parking Lot C on College Blvd.) Ashland County Council on Aging 240 E 3rd Street, Ashland Ashland YMCA 207 Miller Street, Ashland Ashland Public Library 224 Claremont Avenue, Ashland Salvation Army Kroc Center 527 E Liberty Street, Ashland Loudonville Public Library/ Golden Center 122 E Main Street, Loudonville Mill Run Place (Senior Housing Community) 1715 Richard Drive, Ashland Ashland Senior Citizens Center 615 W 10th Street, Ashland For DAYTIME WORKSHOP Info & Event Details: 419-281-4584 | | MAP OF EVENTS | FINDING US – VENUES & ADDRESSES 0 0 Silver Anniversar 25 years 2024 2000 Please complete an evaluation form by scanning the QR Code or by going to For help hearing spoken speech, try Live Transcribe. Download this free app to your phone. INTERESTED IN BEING A VOLUNTEER? Contact us at 419-281-4584 or

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