Two Rivers Chautauqua

Tickets are now on sale for the Museums of Western Colorado’s Two Rivers Chautauqua, an event that brings history to life through re-enactments, August 17 and 18 at the Avalon Theater in downtown Grand Junction. Doors open at 6:00pm and the performance begins at 6:30pm.

The theme for this year’s Two Rivers Chautauqua is World War I: The War to End All Wars, says Museums of Western Colorado Executive Director Dr. Peter Booth. “The Museums of Western Colorado is proud to present this year’s theme as we celebrate the 100-year-anniversary of WWI,” says Dr. Booth. “We encourage everyone to join us at the Avalon Theater August 17 and 18 as Two Rivers Chautauqua presents conversations with extraordinary people.”

This two day event will feature Sally Ann Drucker as Emma Goldman and George Frein as Erich Maria Remarque on Friday evening. On Saturday evening, Ronald Edgerton will portray General Jack Pershing. The Legendary Ladies – Joyce Nelson as Dr. Susan Anderson, Kathy Swafford as Ellis Meredith, and Linda Gleichmann as Emily Griffith – will also be performing Saturday evening. We will also have Local Young Chautauquans during the event.

Tickets are now available, and may be purchased here. Tickets prices are $6/person. This year’s Two Rivers Chautauqua is presented in part by Edward and Lois Gardner and Whitewater Building Materials, with additional support by Colorado Humanities, St. Mary’s Health Center, City of Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture, WesternSlopeNow, Bobbi and Sigma Alpha, and the Avalon Foundation.

Find out more about the performers by clicking on their names above. More information on this year’s event here.

Schedule of Events

August 3

6:30-8:00 pm

A Night of Homegrown Chautauqua at KAFM Radio Room

More information here

Tickets available here

$5 Suggested Donation

August 13

5:00-8:00 pm

All Quiet on the Western Front

Movie and Discussion – with Dr. Adam Rosenbaum, Colorado Mesa University History Department

More information here

Free

Mesa County Libraries Central

August 17

10:00 am

Community Presentation

More information here

Free

Mesa County Libraries Central

11:30 am

Community Presentation

More information here

Free

CMU Tomlinson Library

Evening Performances

6:30 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

Young Chautauquan Performance

Sally Ann Drucker as Emma Goldman

George Frein as Erich Maria Remarque

$6/person; advance tickets here

The Avalon Theatre


August 18

9:00-10:00 am

Coffee with the Chautauquans

Free

Mesa County Libraries Central

Daytime Presentations and Performances

10:30-11:30 am

Ron Edgerton on General Jack Pershing

Free

The Avalon Theatre

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:30am-12:30 pm

Young Chautauquans

12:30-1:30 pm

Legendary Ladies and

Grand Junction Adult Chautauquans

1:30-2:00 pm

Young Chautauquans

2:00-3:00 pm

George Frein on Erich Maria Remarque

3:00-4:00 pm

Young Chautauquans

4:00-5:00 pm

Sally Ann Drucker on Emma Goldman

Evening Performances

6:30 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

 

Young Chautauquan Performance

Legendary Ladies presenting

Women from Colorado’s Past:

  • Joyce Nelson as Dr. Susan Anderson
  • Kathy Swafford as Ellis Meredith
  • Linda Gleichmann as Emily Griffith

Ronald Edgerton as General Jack Pershing

$6/person; advance tickets here

The Avalon Theatre


Click the titles below to expand more content:

WHAT IS A CHAUTAUQUA?

Chautauqua takes its name from a movement that began near Lake Chautauqua, New York, in the 1800s. It began with Sunday school teachers gathering for a week of study, but it became a touring program through which local communities could enjoy traveling speakers, politicians, plays, and music. Many communities still have the Chautauqua parks where these outdoor events were held, usually under a big tent. We’ve been told that at its height in 1924, Chautauqua programs visited over 12,000 towns and entertained over 32,000,000 people nationwide. But new technologies – radio and TV – led to the demise of the old-fashioned Chautauqua.

Today, Chautauqua has been reinvented as a way to bring the humanities, especially history, back to life. Organizations across the country bring in professional scholar-actors (Chautauquans) as historical characters, bringing history to life for their audiences. Local talent provides a great variety of daytime programs. These modern-day Chautauquas are usually sponsored by state humanities councils and other non-profit entities.

WHAT ABOUT TWO RIVERS CHAUTAUQUA?

trc logo

Two Rivers Chautauqua got its start in 2006, thanks to the Museum of Western Colorado, Colorado Humanities, and local donors. It is a two-day event held each year on a Friday and Saturday.

You’ll notice that some of our Chautauquans portray very well-known American icons; others are not so well-known. We believe that part of the fun of Chautauqua is learning more about our country’s history through historical figures we may not know so well, or at all. Here’s a year by year theme:

  • 2006 – The Call of the West with Kit Carson, Jessie Benton Fremont, Teddy Roosevelt, and Marie Curie 
  • 2007 – 1776 with Benjamin Franklin, Phillis Wheatley, Thomas Jefferson, and Hector St. John de Crevecoeur
  • 2008 – World War II with General George Patton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Ernie Pyle 
  • 2009 – Larger than Life with Irene Castle, P.T. Barnum, Coco Chanel, and Babe Ruth 
  • 2010 – The American Civil War with Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison, and Robert E. Lee 
  • 2011 – Lighten Up! with Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, and Will Rogers
  • 2012 – Inventive Minds with Henry Ford, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Albert Einstein, and Dr. Seuss
  • 2013 – Colorado Riches! with Margaret “Molly” Brown, Otto Mears, Teddy Roosevelt, and el vaquero, Diego Martín 
  • 2014 – American Dreams with Alexander Hamilton, John James Audubon, Jane Addams, and Rosa Parks
  • 2015 – Rascals and Rogues with Benedict Arnold, Belle Starr, Aimee Semple McPherson, and Huey Long
  • 2016 – Character Forged in Conflict with Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Nikita Khrushchev
  • 2017 – Western Voices with Laura Ingalls Wilder, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Mark Twain