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June 12, 2009

Date: June 12, 2009
Media Contacts: Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Famous Historical Figures Come Alive at Montgomery College Chautauqua, July 8–10
Three-Night Event at MC-Germantown Features Actor/Scholars Portraying Woody Guthrie, Jackie Robinson, and Eleanor Roosevelt

Woody Guthrie, Jackie Robinson, and Eleanor Roosevelt—all famous reformers and champions of human rights—will come alive this summer at Montgomery College’s 11th annual Chautauqua celebration at the College’s Germantown Campus from July 8–10. Actor/scholars will portray the historical figures, bringing to life this year’s theme of “Rights and Reformers,” at the three-night, family-friendly event. The performances are sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council.

The Chautauqua program will begin each evening at 7 p.m., underneath a tent at the Germantown Campus, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, Md. In case of rain, the performance will be held inside Globe Hall, located within the campus’s High Technology and Science Center. All performances are free and open to the public. 

Each Chautauqua program begins with a short musical performance by a local musician. Next, an actor/scholar takes the stage to portray Woody Guthrie, Jackie Robinson, or Eleanor Roosevelt.  The performers are in costume and in character to give audiences the illusion that they are listening to the actual historical figure.  

The 2009 program schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. 
Musical performance by Andrew McKnight
An Evening with Woody Guthrie, portrayed by David Fenimore
Woody Guthrie was an American singer-songwriter, folk musician, and social critic. Living through some of the most significant events of the 20th century—the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II, and associated social and political upheavals—he became an advocate for free speech, economic justice, and the right to unionize. 

Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. 
Musical performance by Soul in Motion
An Evening with Jackie Robinson, portrayed by Gregory Gibson Kenney
Jackie Robinson's 1947 Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended 60 years of baseball segregation, breaking the baseball color line. After his baseball career, Robinson worked in business and helped to establish the Freedom National Bank in Harlem. He was an activist for social change and served on the board of the NAACP. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Friday, July 10, at 7 p.m. 
Musical performance by Paula Monks
An Evening with Eleanor Roosevelt, portrayed by Suzan King
Eleanor Roosevelt was deeply committed to service and was involved in a wide range of social issues, including civil rights, women’s and children’s rights, education, world peace, and the alleviation of poverty. She also played an integral role in the presidency of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After his death she continued to be an internationally prominent author, speaker, politician, and activist.

The Montgomery College Chautauqua site is accessible to persons with disabilities. For sign language interpretation services, call 410-685-0095 by June 20.

For more information on the Montgomery College Chautauqua, call 240-567-7746 or visit  

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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