chautauqua pic

Scholars for Summer Chautauqua are (from left) Ted Kachel portraying Frank Lloyd Wright; Karen Vuranch, portraying Gertrude Bell; John Dennis Anderson portraying Marshall McLuhan; Susan Marie Frontczak portraying Marie Curie; and Doug Mishler, portraying Gene Roddenberry. (Photo provided)

ENID, Okla. — History experts and enthusiasts will appear as influential people — including the creator of “Star Trek” and a Nobel Prize winner — in the 2021 Summer Chautauqua virtual event.

In partnership with Oklahoma Chautauqua and the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, the Summer Chautauqua event features performances and seminars on figures throughout history. The event tours through three Oklahoma cities, finishing in Enid on Tuesday, June 15, through Saturday, June 19.

For 2021, the theme of Summer Chautauqua is “Catalysts for Change” in the 20th century.

The theme was chosen by members of Oklahoma Chautauqua and the Summer Chautauqua scholars.

“It’s a collaborative process,” said Jacob Krumwiede, executive director of Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center.

The week will focus on five people: Gene Roddenberry, a writer and director of many “Star Trek” iterations; Gertrude Bell, a British politician and archeologist who worked in the Middle East; Marshall McLuhan, a media expert who predicted the invention of the internet; Marie Curie, a Nobel Prize winning scientist; and Frank Lloyd Wright, an architect whose works can be found throughout Oklahoma.

“I have been a ‘Star Trek’ fan my entire life, ever since I was a kid,” Krumwiede said. “I can’t be more excited about these presentations.”

For the first time, the event will be streamed entirely online. The safety of the performers and scholars was a top priority, Krumwiede said. The team began planning for the event as early as the winter of 2020.

“We couldn’t see into the future. We had to be prepared for anything,” he said.

The event will be available to stream through BigMarker, an online platform designed specifically for theatre performances. Registration for each event is available through the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s website.

“Apply sooner rather than later,” Krumwiede said. “Enid is the last chance to see this year’s event. It’s the end of the line.”

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Wolfe is an intern reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. 
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