Extraordinary lives

Learn about famous Americans during Great Basin Chautauqua. Under the cool canopy of a tent, Chautauqua scholars address the audience as various historical figures and talk about events in their lives. After each monologue, audience members can talk to the character about events pertaining to that person’s time. Finally, the scholar breaks character and answers questions he or she couldn’t answer while portraying the historical figure. This year’s theme is taken from poet Carl Sandburg’s book The People, Yes! and will focus on people who broadened the definition of American democracy in the early 20th century. The festival begins July 18 with an evening show by Young Chautauqua scholars. The event continues with Clay Jenkinson as President Theodore Roosevelt on July 19; Doris Dwyer as evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson and Fred Krebs as Carl Sandburg on July 20; Sandra Kamusikiri as writer Zora Neale Hurston and Frank Mullen Jr. (pictured) as U.S. Senator Huey Long on July 21. The festival closes July 22 with David Fenimore as folk musician Woody Guthrie. Performances begin 7 p.m. with pre-show entertainment at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10-$60. Young Chautauqua scholars give free performances at 9:30 a.m. July 19-22. All shows are at Rancho San Rafael Park, 1595 N. Sierra St. Call 784-6587.—Kelley Lang