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Chautauqua Training Institute
January - December, 2022
Online Training

A year-long program in 2022 to conceptualize, research, create, present, and market your own Chautauqua character. By the end of the institute you will be able to bring your favorite historical character back to life on stages across the country!

In partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Humanities North Dakota plans to strengthen the modern Chautauqua movement by hosting the 2022 Chautauqua Training Institute, a year-long incubator program that seeks to identify, prepare, and support more scholars to develop presentations in the personae of important historical figures and to perform as those personalities for public audiences. Scholars who do this kind of public humanities work come to it from one of three backgrounds: 1) college faculty in traditional humanities disciplines; 2) actors interested in one man / one woman shows; 3) story-tellers who find biography useful story material. This institute seeks to bring together scholars from each of these backgrounds. There is no cost to attend the institute. Successful applicants will receive a $500 stipend to cover the cost of research materials and a $3,500 honorarium upon the completion of an online Chautauqua performance at the end of the training period. The entire institute will be hosted online and is open to scholars from across the nation. Applicants may choose any significant historical figure to portray. Proposed figures can be from any historical period, geographic location, or culture. 

Helpful links:

View Recordings of Previous Informational Webinars

November 1 Webinar

November 15 Webinar

Project Timeline

October 1, 2021 - Call for scholars goes out.

December 1, 2021 - Deadline for application submissions.


December 15, 2021 - Acceptance notices sent to scholars.


January 2, 2022 - Selected scholars signed agreements due.


January 18, 2022 - First Class (all classes will run 7-9 PM Central Time)

February 22, 2022 - Second Class

March 15, 2022 - Third Class


April 19, 2022 - Fourth Class


May 17, 2022 - Fifth Class


June and November 2022- Scholars continue to research their characters and check in with faculty on progress and receive feedback.

November 27 thru December 1 & December 4 thru 8, 2022 - Scholars present their characters during a two-week online Chautauqua occurring nightly.

After December 8, Date To Be Determined - Sixth Class


George Frein

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Charles Pace


Susan Marie Frontczak

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John Dennis Anderson

George Frein, PhD began to do Chautauqua in 1986 while teaching in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at University of North Dakota. During summer vacations, he traveled with groups of four or five other scholars to towns all across the Great Plains, doing week-long programs supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and its state partners. George portrayed Henry Adams, Herman Melville, Orson Welles, and Mark Twain. After he retired from the University, George kept doing Chautauqua and added to his cast of characters: John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Seuss, Harry Truman, Carl Jung, Erich Maria Remarque. Now 89, George is ready to retire his characters and is looking for scholars to pick them up and keep them going.

Charles Everett Pace has undergraduate and graduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (B.A., biology) and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana (M.A., American studies: history and anthropology). Charles has worked as a Program Advisor and Student Development Specialist for the Texas Union at The University of Texas as Austin. He has also taught at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Purdue University, and at Centre College in Kentucky. His research area is the anthropology of performance, experience and visual communications. He has performed and conducted workshops in hundreds of cities across the United States, as well as, in London, England. Pace has also conducted performance-based public diplomacy work for the United States Information Agency (USIA) in dozens of cities in nine countries across east, west and southern Africa. 

Susan Marie Frontczak, Storysmith®, has developed six historical figures for Chautauqua over the last 22 years.  Marie Curie is the most widely traveled, with over 450 audiences to date in 34 of the United States and nine countries abroad to over 60,000 people. Other historical figures include first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, author Mary Shelley, dancer Irene Castle, Civil War nurse and American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, and humorist/author Erma Bombeck. Susan Marie has been coaching youth since 2004 and adults since 2008 to develop their own Living History presentations (including Chautauqua). She authored the Young Chautauqua handbooks for Colorado Humanities and coaches YC throughout her home state.  Her website is

John Dennis Anderson, a native Texan living on Cape Cod, is a performance studies scholar and Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Communication Studies at Emerson College, where he taught for 27 years. His Chautauqua performances include Henry James, William Faulkner, Washington Irving, Robert Frost, Louis Bromfield, Henry Beston, Lynn Riggs, Ernest Hemingway, and Marshall McLuhan. He is currently developing a performance as Christopher Isherwood for the summer of 2022, and he recently appeared in the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival. He received the National Communication Association’s Leslie Irene Coger Award for Distinguished Performance in 2013 and Lilla Heston Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Interpretation and Performance Studies in 2017. He is the author of Student Companion to William Faulkner. His website is

Susan Marie

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