Tag Archives: Emma Morehart
Chautauqua Institution President Tom Becker will close the season Sunday. Photo by Megan Tan.

138th assembly draws to close with Becker’s Sunday address

Two short months after Chautauqua President Tom Becker opened the season with the trio of gavel taps at the morning worship service, he will make the exact same gesture. But this service will carry a very different feeling.

As is custom, Becker will close the season with the three taps of the gavel at the final Sacred Song service of the season at 8 p.m. Sunday in the Amphitheater.

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The Rev. William Watley reflects and speaks on his history and connects Frederick Douglass’ speech to the present-day identity of a black man in the United States. Photo by Megan Tan.

From Douglass to Obama, Smith and Watley compare history to present

Frederick Douglass’ speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” came back to life at Chautauqua on Thursday as actor Roger Guenveur Smith recited the abolitionist’s words for the Interfaith Lecture Series.

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim,” Smith said, reciting the speech.

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Panel to close series with discussion on taking action

To close this week’s Interfaith Lecture Series, the Rev. Joan Brown Campbell and Rex Ellis are going to compile the week’s ideas and information to encourage the audience to do one thing: take action.

“It’ll be a wind-up, really, of the whole week, and we’ll bring it into the present. If we hold these truths to be self-evident, well, what are these truths, and do we follow them?” Campbell said, adding that today’s lecture will bring the theme full circle.

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Colonial Williamsburg actor-interpreters perform ‘Promise of Freedom’ at the Hall of Philosophy Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Demetrius Freeman.

Even after Emancipation Proclamation, slaves still skeptical

A common misconception is that after former President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, everything became suddenly easier for slaves. But 10 actor-interpreters from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation disproved that theory in the performance “Promises of Freedom” at the Interfaith lecture at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy Wednesday.

Many slaves were skeptical of the legitimacy of Lincoln’s offer. They had been promised freedom before and had it taken away. Other slaves were left without families because their children and spouses had been sold. For some slaves, the Emancipation Proclamation did not even apply to them.

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Roger Guenveur Smith

Smith to bring Douglass’ words to life

From research to papers, videos to music, Roger Guenveur Smith has been reenacting Frederick Douglass’ life since he was an undergraduate in college.

At 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, Smith will choose recitation as his method of interpretation for the Chautauqua audience. He will recite Douglass’ speech from 1815 about what the Fourth of July means to African-Americans.

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Bill Barker portrays Thomas Jefferson Tuesday afternoon in the Hall of Philosophy. Photo by Ellie Haugsby.

Washington, Jefferson, address party politics, taxes, power of the people

The first Chautauquans arrived for Tuesday’s 2 p.m. Interfaith Lecture almost two hours early, said Maureen Rovegno. By 1:30 p.m., the seats were packed for “Storm on the Horizon,” a character-interpretation by members of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Rovegno, the assistant director of the Department of Religion, did not seem surprised by the large turnout, though. When other members of the Foundation performed at Chautauqua in 2009, the event was just as popular.

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Bill Barker, portraying Thomas Jefferson, speaks to the Hall of Philosophy audience Tuesday afternoon. Barker will appear with other character-interpreters in the Amphitheater at 8:15 p.m. as part of the program “A Wolf by the Ear.” Photo by Ellie Haugsby.

Jefferson reflects on having ‘A Wolf by the Ear’ tonight

The arts often are used to tell a story or send a message. Composers and performers often make music to portray a feeling. Actors use characters to tell a story and present a theme, and the actor-interpreters at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation do this at every performance. But tonight, they will be joined by some of the Foundation’s musicians.

At 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater, the actor-interpreters and musicians will work together to tell the story of “A Wolf by the Ear,” detailing Thomas Jefferson’s reflections of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

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Prodigies’ pieces to close season of Liszt at final Massey mini-concert

To close the “Liszt at 200!” Massey Memorial Organ Mini-Concert series, organist Jared Jacobsen will highlight one of Franz Liszt’s most enduring qualities — his passion for teaching.

Because Liszt was such a dedicated teacher, Jacobsen chose to play music written by a modern child prodigy. At 12:15 p.m. today in the Amphitheater, Jacobsen will perform the East Coast premiere of “Galaxies and Explosions,” a 2010 organ piece from “Mysteries of Space” by 15-year-old Thomas Mellan. Mellan was born in Paris but now is a high school junior in California.

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