Kentucky Chautauqua is seeking presenters to develop dramatic programs portraying the lives of historical Kentuckians. Through the application and audition process described here, we will select new Kentucky Chautauqua characters in June 2022. Dramatic experience is desirable but not required.
This form is used to apply to join the Kentucky Chautauqua roster with a new character.
Proposed Chautauqua characters do not have to be famous, but their lives should illuminate some part of Kentucky’s history, and their stories should be compelling enough to appeal to audiences in every part of the state. Chautauqua characters, who must be deceased, have ranged from the unknown, such as Kentucky politician Caleb Powers, to household names like Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. The common thread is that they all have great stories to tell.
Subjects that program hosts have expressed interest in include African American history, the bourbon industry, and the equine industry. Also of note, we do not currently have an Abraham Lincoln in our lineup; therefore we will be accepting applications for a new Abraham Lincoln Chautauqua.
A Kentucky Chautauqua portrayal should last about 45 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer session of up to 30 minutes. Applicants chosen as Chautauqua characters will receive an honorarium of $1,000 for script development, and Kentucky Humanities will pay for drama, costume, and scholarly consultants to ensure the historical accuracy of the characterization. Presenters agree to provide their own costumes, props, and transportation, and must be available to travel statewide for at least 45 performances between August 1, 2023 and July 31, 2026. We will pay presenters $350 per performance plus lodging.
If you have a character you want to portray for Kentucky Chautauqua, you have until April 1, 2022 to submit an application.
We will invite selected applicants to audition for a panel of reviewers chosen by Kentucky Humanities. Auditions and final selection of characters will take place in June 2022 in Lexington. The audition consists of a five-minute in-character presentation followed by a 10-minute Q & A with the reviewers.
|Mary Arvin||Atta kul kulla||Lucy Bakewell Audubon|
|Alben Barkley||Mary McLeod Bethune||Ruth Hanly Booe|
|Daniel Boone||Jemima Boone||John C. Breckinridge|
|Madeline McDowell Breckinridge||Mary Carson Breckinridge||Belle Breezing|
|Aunt Clara Brown||William Wells Brown||Simon Bolivar Buckner|
|A. A. Burleigh||Rev. Newton Bush||The Carlisle Brothers|
|George Rogers Clark||Anna Mac Clarke||Cassius M. Clay|
|Henry Clay||Laura Clay||Rosemary Clooney|
|Irvin S. Cobb||Catherine Conner||Lilley Cornett|
|Rev. Elijah Craig||Emmit Davenport||Jefferson Davis|
|Samuel Drake||Charlotte Dupuy||John G. Fee|
|Joseph Galloway||Margaret Garner||Roscoe Tarlton Goose|
|Sue Grafton||Private William Greathouse||Rev. Elisha Green|
|Johnny Green||Nancy Green||Winifred Green|
|Justice John Marshall Harlan||Emilie Todd Helm||Billy Herndon|
|Price Hollowell||Aunt Molly Jackson||Grandpa Jones|
|Simon Kenton||Maxine Lacey||Lily May Ledford|
|Rose Leigh||Abraham Lincoln||Mary Todd Lincoln|
|Alice Lloyd||John C. C. Mayo||Dr. Ephraim McDowell|
|Rose Will Monroe||Gov. Edwin Morrow||Mary Owens|
|Dr. J. J. Polk||Caleb Powers||Pee Wee Reese|
|Jean Ritchie||Adolph Rupp||Harland "Colonel" Sanders|
|Laura Scott||Isaac Shelby||Mary Settles|
|Cora Wilson Stewart||Jesse Stuart||Miss Dinnie Thompson|
|Sojourner Truth||Harriet Tubman||Mark Twain|
|Dr. Thomas Walker||Sallie Ward||Henry Watterson|
|York||Colonel Charles Young|
Bold = on our current roster