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All of Chautauqua's esteemed scholars prepare for their roles by extensively researching their subject's personal and professional lives, as well as the times and environment in which they lived. Information is gleaned from biographies, newspapers, books, papers, journals, letters, radio and television news stories and secondhand accounts. These historians then deliver carefully prepared and rehearsed presentations dressed for the part (despite the heat), affecting the accents, traits and mannerisms of the historic figures they represent.

For complete details of the 2019 Chautauqua Program, click image at right to download a PDF version of the Companion Reader, complimentary to attendees of our performances and workshops.

Tues, June 5th
Francisco Pizarro

Francisco Pizzaro had already demonstrated a passion for the New World, with previous Spanish government appointments and expeditions with reknowned Spanish explorers, when, at 48, he formed his own company to explore South America & conquer the Incas in search of gold
...read more

Presented by:
Hank Fincken

Hank Fincken has toured as a living history performer in Europe, South America and the U.S. for the past 20 years. Meticulously researching and scripting each character he portrays, he has appeared as dozens of figures for Chautauquas, conferences, coporate meetings, libraries, parks and cultural events.

Fincken has published more than 20 essays, a dozen short stories and one Children's play entitled Three Midwest History Plays and Then Some.

Weds, June 6th
Bartolome de las Casas

Bartolome de las Casas began as most early Spanish settlers in Mexico, participating in the enslavement of indigenous people. Then, in 1515, he freed his slaves and began to work tirelessly as a social refomer within the Spanish church to advocate for the humane treatment of native peoples
...read more

Presented by:
Paul Vickery

Paul Vickery expresses his passion for history through teaching, writing and performing. He has portrayed numerous historical figures for schools, churches, conferences and libraries around the country and chautauqua-style events in 6 states and England.

Vickery teaches at ORU in Tulsa in both Graduate Seminary and History. He holds an M.A. in International Relations and a B.A. in Inter-American Studies and Spanish.

Thurs, June 7th
Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett was an award winning American Mexican graphic artist and sculptor, whose Modernist works often focused on subjects relating to experiences of 20th century African American women. Her work is still studied by art students for her depictions of race, gender and class
..read more

Presented by:
Ilene Evans

Ms. Ilene Evans performs, teaches and lectures nationwide and overseas, most recently to the Middle East and Columbia for the U.S. Embassy to share African American history. She is also a writer, vocalist, storyteller, dancer and choreographer.

Ms. Evans resides in West Virgina and is the co-founder of Voices of the Earth. She holds a Masters degree in Education and a B.A. from Trinity College.

Fri, June 8th
Ernesto Che Guevara

Ernesto Che Guevara is still highly regarded as a revolutionary figure whose egalitarian Marxist idealism & charismatic leadership ushered in the promise of rule by the people throughout South America. He played a pivotal leadership role in the Cuban revolution
...read more

Presented by:
Joey Madia

Joey Madia specializes in Historical Education Theater and participatory youth plays. He has also written several main stage musicals and dramas. He has appeared in, directed and written over 100 plays and a dozen projects on camera.

He is currently Creative Director at Port City Tour Co. and founding Artistic Director 0f Seven Stories Theater Co., residing in Beaufort, NC.


Sat, June 9th
Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso proved to be a child artist prodigy when he surpassed the talent of his art professor father at age 13. Although trained in classical art, Picasso's styles, subjects and mediums evolved throughout his long life, leaving the world an impressive legacy of recognized work
...read more

Presented by:
Doug Mishler

Dr. Doug Mishler has presented 18 historical figures at Chautauquas, including Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Thomas Hart Benton, and most recently Nikita Khruschev.

Dr. Mishler holds a PhD in U.S. Cultural History and is currently an adjunct professor of history and humanities at the University of Nevada. He holds a PhD in History earned at the University of Nevada.