Cultural event brings historical Ohio characters to life in Warren

ohio chautauqua warren

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – For the sixth time, Warren is hosting a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event.

Bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and detail — that’s what the Ohio Chautauqua is all about. Warren is just one of four cities to host the event.

Scholars in costume will perform each evening through Saturday, representing historic figures whose life work helps frame the stories of Ohioans.

On Wednesday night, Dan Cutler brought to life Chief Cornstalk — a Shawnee chief who moved to Ohio around 1730. An estimated 500 people showed up to watch the historian transform into the chief as he talked about his ties to Western Pennsylvania and eventual settlement into Ohio.

“Chief Cornstalk was at an era when…the Native American values were changing because of the influence of the Europeans, and he’s able to speak to that,” said Ohio Humanities Program Coordinator Missy Ricksecker.

Ohio Humanities established Ohio Chautauqua in 1999 as part of its mission to help people and communities explore, share, and be inspired by the human experience.

“It’s a very competitive process to be able to host an Ohio Chautauqua. Warren has made it a community tradition and we love that,” Ricksecker said.

Barbara Layfield loves coming back time and time again.

“Every year and every program is just so different and yet so enlightening, that I really enjoy it!”

The musical and living history performances will be held under a white and red striped tent along 303 Mahoning Avenue NW in downtown Warren.

Ohio Chautauqua also offers daytime activities at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library at 444 Mahoning Ave. NW. They provide hands-on workshops for both adults and kids.

Admission is free for all events.

Daytime Programs for Youth (ages 8 and up) — at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library

  • Thursday, June 22, 10 a.m. – “Treasure the Earth’s Magic” presented by Susan Marie Frontczak
  • Friday, June 23, 10 a.m. – “Young Scientists” presented by Susan Marie Frontczak
  • Saturday, June 24
    • 10 a.m. – “Prehistoric People” presented by Dan Cutler
    • 11 a.m. – “Animal Researchers” presented by Dianne Moran

Daytime Programs for Adults — 2:00 at the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library

  • Thursday, June 22 – “Dian Fossey, Passionate Mountain Gorilla Researcher and Defender: The Darker Side of Wildlife Conservation,” presented by Dianne Moran
  • Friday, June 23 – “Presidential Firsts,” presented by Gene Worthington
  • Saturday, June 24 – “Marie Curie: What Almost Stopped Her,” presented by Susan Marie Frontczak

Evening Musical Performances — 6:30 at the tent on Mahoning Avenue

  • Thursday, June 22 – Charlie Mosbrook (Original and Traditional Folk)
  • Friday, June 23 – The Stephen Foster Chorus (Barbershoppers)
  • Saturday, June 24 – Matthew Bell (Boogie Woogie Piano Jazz)

Evening Living History Performances — 7:30 at the tent on Mahoning Avenue

  • Thursday, June 22 – Susan Marie Frontczak as “Frankenstein” author, Mary Shelley
  • Friday, June 23 – Dianne Moran as Primatologist Dian Fossey
  • Saturday, June 24 – Gene Worthington as President Theodore Roosevelt