Calling all Young Chautauquans |

Calling all Young Chautauquans

by Caryn

R-C file photoParticipants from a previous Young Chautauqua. An informational meeting in 6 p.m., Jan. 8.

After 13 years at the helm of the Young Chautauqua program, Grace Bower is turning over the reins to historical society education director Iris Blaisdell.After helping with the program last year, Blaisdell said she is looking forward to seeing what characters the students choose this year.“The program is a very good idea,” she said. “We had some wonderful kids last year, and would like to have more.”The first informational meeting of Young Chautauqua is 6 p.m., Jan. 8 in the meeting room of the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center in Gardnerville.In the past, the program was open for students in fourth through 12th grade. This year, Blaisdell has limited the program to third through eighth-grade students and homeschoolers.“We weren’t getting the high school kids, so we decided to try it his way,” Blaisdell said. “We had a second-grader last year, and she did a bang-up job.”The students participate by choosing a deceased historical character, researching them and presenting a reenactment of a part of their lives. “It’s a combination of drama, speech and historical research. It doesn’t have to do with grades, but what they are interested in,” Blaisdell said. “Even ones who are shy might find when dressed in a costume, they’re not so shy in front of people anymore.”At the end of each performance, the students answer questions about themselves in character and out-of-character.Participants meet twice a month for one hour to research their character and prepare a two or three-minute speech, which Blaisdell and volunteer Barbara Byington assist with.Students have the opportunity to perform their skit at least three times in classrooms or other smaller venues before their final performance in Mormon Station Park in June.“If they have an interest in history and drama, it’s a good way for them to get involved in those two subjects,” Blaisdell said. “It’s not too difficult, and it’s fun.”For more information, call Blaisdell at 392-1772.DETAILSWhat: Young Chautauqua informational meetingWhen: 6 p.m., Jan. 8Where: Carson Valley Museum & Cultural CenterInfo: Iris Blaisdell, 392-1772

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