It’s rewarding to read about history, but to feel like you’re there is transformational.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to hear from and interact with notable figures in history? Well, in July you can. This summer, join Maryland Humanities at our 25th annual Chautauqua living history series.

Chautauqua 2019: Making Waves

“We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one.

– Jacques Cousteau

In our 25th season, Maryland Humanities is diving into how water has shaped our history. We celebrate those who have navigated ice, waves, and the depths below by bringing three historical adventurers to life on the Chautauqua stage.

Matthew Henson was a polar explorer, craftsman, author and was said to be the first African-American to reach the North Pole. Keith Henley, a historic interpreter and actor, will portray the Maryland native. Henley performs as Henry Box Brown, George Washington Carver, Langston Hughes, Sergeant Henry Johnson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia and at Chautauquas in Colorado, Delaware, South Carolina, and Arkansas.

Jacques Cousteau, was an oceanographer, filmmaker, and scientist. He is known for his deep-sea explorations and his invention of the aqua-lung. Doug Mishler, an independent scholar and veteran Chautauquan, will portray him. Mishler has performed as P. T. Barnum, Theodore Roosevelt, William Lloyd Garrison, Henry Ford, Jefferson Davis, George Wallace, Upton Sinclair, Major General Robert Ross, and General Joseph Pershing at past Maryland Humanities Chautauquas. He also portrays Ernie Pyle, Billy Sunday, William Clark, and others at Chautauqua programs throughout the country.

Grace O’Malley was a 16th century Irish Pirate Queen, who commanded ships, men, and the respect of Queen Elizabeth I. She will be portrayed by Mary Ann Jung, an award-winning actress who specializes in interactive history. Jung has portrayed Clara Barton, Rosalie Stier Calvert, Amelia Earhart, and Julia Child at past Maryland Humanities Chautauquas, and also performs as Margaret Brent, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others.

Join us this summer at eight locations across the state.

  • Anne Arundel County

    Crofton Community Library
    1681 Reidel Road, Crofton, MD 21114

    Saturday, July 20 – Grace O’Malley

    The performance will begin at 2:00pm

  • Baltimore County

    Centre for the Arts Theatre at The Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville
    800 South Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228

    Friday, July 12 – Matthew Henson
    Saturday, July 13 – Jacques Cousteau
    Sunday, July 14 – Grace O’Malley

    All performances will begin at 7:00 PM

  • Cecil County

    Elkton Central Library
    301 Newark Avenue, Elkton, MD 21921

    Saturday, July 13 – Matthew Henson

    Performance will begin at 6 PM

    Elkton Station Performing Arts Hall at Cecil College, Elkton Station
    107 Railroad Avenue, Elkton, MD 21921

    Tuesday, July 16 – Grace O’Malley

    Performance will begin at 7:00 PM

  • Charles County

    The College of Southern Maryland, La Plata
    8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, MD 20646

    Tuesday, July 9 – Matthew Henson
    Wednesday, July 10 – Jacques Cousteau
    Thursday, July 11 – Grace O’Malley

    All performances will begin at 6:45 PM and will be held in the Fine Arts Center, Brad and Linda Gottfried Theater.

  • Garrett County

    Mountain Lake Park
    A tent near Mountain Lake Park Town Hall, 1007 Allegheny Drive, Mountain Lake Park

    Friday, July 5 – Matthew Henson
    Saturday, July 6 – Jacques Cousteau
    Sunday, July 7 – Grace O’Malley

    All performances will begin at 7:00 PM

    Note: These performances are part of a three day festival focusing on Chautauqua’s past and present. Click here for the program schedule.

  • Harford County

    Chesapeake Theater at Harford Community College
    401 Thomas Run Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

    Monday, July 15 – Jacques Cousteau

    Performance will begin at 7:00 PM.

    Sponsored by Harford Community College and the Harford County Public Library

  • Montgomery County

    Globe Hall in the High Technology Building at Montgomery College, Germantown
    20200 Observation Drive, Germantown MD 20876

    Wednesday, July 10 – Matthew Henson
    Thursday, July 11 – Jacques Cousteau
    Friday, July 12 – Grace O’Malley

    All performances will begin at 7:00 PM

  • Talbot County

    Steamboat Building at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
    213 N. Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD 21663

    Monday, July 8 – Matthew Henson
    Tuesday, July 9 – Jacques Cousteau
    Wednesday, July 10 – Grace O’Malley

    All performances will begin at 7:00 PM and will be held outdoors. Please bring folding chair. In case of severe weather, program will be held in the Steamboat Building auditorium.

Watch past Chautauqua performances

Baltimore County & Charles County Sponsor

Baltimore County Sponsor

Talbot County Sponsor

Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences logo
The Talbot County Arts Council logo

In 2019, Chautauqua is part of Maryland Humanities’ Maryland H2O. A two-year initiative, Maryland H2O explores our many and varied relationships with water—which is part of our history, our culture, our future—through multiple programs. Maryland H2O also includes the Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition, Water/Ways; the Smithsonian exhibition H2O Today; One Maryland One Book 2019; and engaging programs to spark a statewide discussion about water.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in Chautauqua are the performers’ interpretations of the historical figures and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Maryland Humanities, Chautauqua host sites, or our funders. 

Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
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