ENID, Okla. — Enid's Summer Chautauqua in the Park is back again for its 25th year, kicking off Tuesday and running through June 15 at Humphrey Heritage Village at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center.
It is free and open to the public.
The four-day schedule will be packed for the 25th anniversary, including workshops and performances from this year's five scholars, entertainment from local talent, dinner, dessert and Chautauqua merchandise on sale.
This summer's Chautauqua event is titled "From Pizarro to Picasso: Hispanic Legacy in America Today," celebrating five historical figures of Hispanic heritage whose lives influenced American culture.
The goal is to recognize Hispanic culture as a whole, Enid Chautauqua president Mary McDonald said, "and the heritage we have in America today because of what these individuals brought to us."
The scholars will take to the stage and impersonate figures whose lives and legacies span hundreds of years, and whose influence is felt in many countries and continents.
Performances consist of a half-hour monologue told from the perspective of the figure. Two audience Q&A segments follow. In the first, the scholar addresses questions in character, and then out of character for the second.
Given that the scholars are experts on the people they portray, they are able to bring depth and authenticity to their performances, and to their answers to audience questions, McDonald said.
"It's not like somebody in a play memorizing a monologue ... because these folks, they've written their own monologues based on research," she said. "People always come away with knowledge that they did not have before ... or an understanding of a person or time period that they had not previously had."
All Chautauqua performances take place 7:30 p.m., and the first up to entertain and educate audiences is Francisco Pizarro, portrayed by Hank Ficken. The famous, or infamous, conquistador led the charge that toppled the Incan Empire.
Bartolomé de Las Casas, a Spanish historian and friar portrayed by Paul Vickery, performs Wednesday.
American-Mexican artist Elizabeth Catlett, portrayed by Ilene Evans, follows with a Thursday night act.
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, revolutionary, portrayed by Joey Madia, will speak about his life and experiences on Friday.
Saturday, the final night, belongs to legendary artist Pablo Picasso, portrayed by Doug Mishler.
Workshops featuring each of the five figures are available Tuesday through Saturday, at 10:30 a.m. and noon, and will be held in the Humphrey Heritage Village church at Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center.
In addition the the scholar workshops, a special workshop is set to take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday, with John and Laurel Provine, who initially brought Summer Chautauqua to Enid a quarter century ago.
During their workshop, the pair will talk about the history of Chautauqua, McDonald said.
For a full list of workshops and performances, visit the "Enid Chautauqua in the Park" Facebook page.