How often do you meet?

  • For our 2019-2020 season we will be meeting about 2 Wednesdays a month from September through December, and 3 Wednesdays a month from January through April. Performances throughout the Boulder community will be in May!

    Meetings start on September 4th, more meeting dates coming soon…

Where are the meetings held?

  • We’re very grateful to the Frasier Meadows retirement community  in East Boulder for sharing their facilities near Baseline & Foothills Parkway with us.

What is the cost? 

  • We’re fortunate to have generous sponsorships from Colorado Humanities, which allows us to offer the program for $60 per student.

How old are the students? 

  • Students aged 9-18 are welcome to participate in Young Chautauqua.  Parents of students ages 9-10 should expect to have an adult attend meetings with their children and provide help and guidance with the project at home.

What previous experience is needed?

  • No previous acting experience is necessary.  Many of our  students are first-time performers, and some even start out as very reluctant public speakers!  We’ve found that the only real requirement for success is that the student is genuinely interested in the program and the historical character they’ve selected.

What happens at the meetings?

  • Our meetings are designed as workshops in which students learn about specific research, writing, and performance techniques they can use to create their living history project.  At most meetings, students will be able to share their progress with peers and receive feedback on all aspects of their work.  We strive to make our meetings a fun and non-threatening environment where students feel comfortable sharing their work and receiving respectful feedback from others.
  • Each year we have several workshops with our fabulous Chautauqua coach, Susan Marie Frontczak.  Learn more about Susan Marie at Storysmith.org.

How much work is required at home? 

  • All historical research, all writing, and most performance rehearsal will be done independently, outside of our meeting times.   It takes a lot of work, but there’s flexibility based on the varying ages, experience levels, and motivation levels of our students.  Younger students may require regular assistance at home to complete a Young Chautauqua project.
  • Students should plan to read at least one biography about their character and search for at least a few primary resources. For a younger or less experienced student that could mean reading a children’s book on the character and finding resources such as a one-page obituary or a short speech he/she gave.  Writing time will vary based on the length of the student’s final performance (5-15 mins.) and the strength of their writing skills.
  • A more experienced or motivated student might read several adult level biographies, interview in person one of the character’s relatives, travel to another city’s library to read historic newspapers, conduct extra research on the political climate of the time, or the type of equipment the historical figure used, or the clothing worn, etc, etc.  It’s easy to see that there’s really no end to the amount of time or number of topics a student could research on any historical figure and his/her time period, so each student (& parent!) must choose the right level of work for their own interests and schedule.

How long is the monologue? 

  • Our program allows for lots of flexibility depending on the interests and experience of each student.  Most students tell approximately three stories from their character’s life.   Younger or less experienced students typically start with monologues approximately 5-10 minutes long, while more experienced students can create monologues up to a maximum of 15 minutes in length.

How do performances in May work? 

  • Each student is encouraged to give at least 2 performances in the community in addition to our group final performance events at Frasier Meadows.  Our group will work together to find and share performance opportunities at local schools, clubs, retirement centers, museums, etc.   Each family is expected to organize at least one performance event that is available to a few other students.

What is required of parents? 

  • Our workshops with Susan Marie are funded by the program fees and the generous sponsorship of Colorado Humanities.  Everything else happens because of our parent volunteers!  Each year we need parents to help our program run by assisting during meetings, planning performance opportunities, designing programs for performances, organizing final performances, and helping with administrative details.  If each family organizes at least one performance event that is available to a few other students, and assists during a few of our Wednesday evening meetings, we’ll be in great shape. If you would prefer to help in other ways, let’s come up with something that works for our program and your family.

Please contact us if you have further questions!

  • Photo Gallery: Click on the photo to see more of our talented students in action!

    S. as Julius Caesar

    S. as Julius Caesar