Chautauqua Summer Series returns to St. Michaels this July

From 7-9 p.m. on July 13, 14, and 15, the Chautauqua Summer Series returns in its second year to the waterfront campus of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This Maryland Humanities Council series presents important historical figures through living history performances, and is offered free and open to the public to audiences of all ages.

This year’s theme is Sporting Lives and features Olympic track and field champion Wilma Rudolph on July 13, baseball legend Babe Ruth on July 14, and versatile athlete and Olympian Jim Thorpe on July 15. The 2015 Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is generously underwritten by Karen and Langley Shook, the St. Michaels Running Festival, and the St. Michaels Art League.

A Chautauqua performance is a historical dramatization featuring individuals who are part scholar and part actor. Each performance is broken into three acts, where the performer represents a historical figure in the first person, then invites audience questions; and in the final act, steps out of character to answer questions that the historical figure could not have been able to answer.

“Chautauqua” was the name for the Chautauqua Lake area in upstate New York, where the movement began in 1874 as a Methodist summer retreat. A wide range of religious lectures and educational programs attracted a huge following. As it evolved, the Chautauqua movement presented the latest in thinking in politics, economics, literature, science, and religion. MHC launched the modern Chautauqua program in Maryland in 1995.

The Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is free and open to the public, with guests encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for seating. All performances are held on the lawn of Fogg’s Landing, near the museum’s Steamboat Building. In the event of rain, performances will be held in the Van Lennep Auditorium, with space limited. No registration is required.

For more information, visit or call 410-745-2916. Additional information about the Chautauqua Summer Series can be found at