MOUNT VERNON – Abolitionist? Terrorist? Religious zealot? Fanatic? What exactly is the best term to describe John Brown, who spent considerable time in the Akron and Kent, Ohio areas? No matter what your stance, he certainly helped ignite the Civil War. As the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War concludes this year, the Chautauqua Series is happy to kick off their 9th season with a first person portrayal of John Brown on Thursday January 15 at 7 PM at ThePlace@TheWoodward in downtown Mount Vernon, Ohio.
So what is a Chautauqua? As we use the term now, it means someone who has spent time doing extensive research on the life and times of an individual and tries their best to portray that person as truthfully and as honestly has they can. No matter what the history books tell us, these portrayers give us the fully realized person not just the image painted about them.
Knox County is home to the only year round Chautauqua Series in the United States and brought to you on a donation basis by the members of the musical group Elixir. Supported in part by the Ariel Foundation for rental of ThePlace@TheWoodward, all donations then go to the portrayers and the opening performers who help set up the mood of the Chautauqua character. This year the season includes 26 programs, presented on various Thursday’s throughout the year. For information and a listing of the program visit www.elixirpresents.com or www.VisitKnoxOhio.org or call 740-392-6102.
The first program featuring John Brown and the musical talents of Owl Creek will be held at the new location for ThePlace@TheWoodward, 120 S. Main Street across the street from its old location [closed to continue the refurbishing of the Woodward Opera House complex]. Doors open at 6 PM, Owl Creek plays at 7 PM and John Brown at 7:45 with a Q&A with the audiences at the conclusion of the performance.
Upcoming shows include: JANUARY 29 – Civil War Soldier [Ken Hammontree], FEBRUARY 12 – Princess Diana [Amy K. Stoner], FEBRUARY 26 – Jennie Wade [Rachel Ball], MARCH 12 - George Burns Greg Patterson] , MARCH 26 – Dom DeLuise [Aaron Pauley], APRIL 2 – Press Conference with Abraham Lincoln & Jefferson Davis [Robert Brugler & David Walker], APRIL 30 – Harriet Beecher Stowe [Susan Kahrl, MAY 14 - Elizabeth Montgomery [Hope Dial], MAY 28 – Cy Young [Christopher Hart] JUNE 11 –Andy Griffith [Ken Barnett].