Chautauqua Summer Series returns to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels

On the evenings of July 11-13, the 22nd annual Chautauqua Summer Series brings three live performances to the waterfront campus of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. This year’s Maryland Humanities’ series features Pulitzer Prize winners Duke Ellington, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Ernest Hemingway, with all living history performances taking place from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. along the Miles River, and offered free and open to the public.

CBMM_ChautauquaH_CopyrightTomChalkleyBaltimoreMDThe 2016 Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is generously sponsored by Easton Eye Care and Karen and Langley Shook, and is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County, and the Towns of Easton, Oxford and St Michaels.

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.” With these words, American publisher Joseph Pulitzer articulated a set of standards that inspire journalists, writers, artists, and musicians in their creative endeavors.

This year’s Masters of their Craft theme commemorates the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes by featuring three Pulitzer winners on the Chautauqua stage. On Monday, July 11, Baltimore vocalist, pianist, and actor Tevin Brown will portray Duke Ellington, the incomparable showman, and one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century with a career that spanned over fifty years. On Tuesday, July 12, educator and actress Dorothy Mains Prince will portray Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize capturing the black experience in America through her poetry. On Wednesday, July 13, the series wraps up in St. Michaels with Hemingway on Stage author and actor Brian Gordon Sinclair portraying Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest American literary figures of the twentieth century whose work continues to influence modern literature with his trademark style of simple yet perceptive prose.

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. Maryland Humanities 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