MOUNT VERNON — In December 2005, a new facility opened in Mount Vernon called ThePlace@TheWoodward. In January 2006, a new programming idea started at ThePlace@TheWoodward called the Chautauqua Series. The series’ very first portrayal was Ken Hammontree as Gen. George Washington at Valley Forge and with opening act and founders of the series, Elixir, played for 35 people.
Fast forward to 2012, and the Chautauqua Series, now in its sixth season, has received recognition by the Ohio Humanities Council, received some additional funding to help support the series locally and has established itself, not only as the only monthly Chautauqua Series in the United States but as a platform for new scholars to develop their presentations.
This week, Hammontree will return to reprise George Washington. He performs all around the United States as characters ranging from Washington to Tecumseh, Eisenhower to Pretty Boy Floyd.
Hammontree and Mike Petee of Elixir met many years ago and Peete wrote a song about Johnny Appleseed for a presentation Hammontree was making of the character and over the years, the two discussed the possibility of a Chautauqua Series in Mount Vernon. Eventually the idea took hold and Hammontree helped Petee create the characters for the first season and, as they say, the rest is history...
Opening for Gen. George Washington, making his first appearance as a solo act is Gerry Rensel, performing original songs he wrote while in Nashville. Rensel is well known as one of the stage announcers at the yearly Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival as well as being a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with Elixir.
This program will take place Thursday at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 111 S. Main St. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 7. Donations are appreciated.
For more information, call 740-392-6102 or 740-392-3018.
Published on September 10, 2012