Banner for the 24th annual Chautauqua

Zwaanendael Museum in-person and livestreamed on You Tube

All programs are free and open to the public.

Travelling Victrola Demonstration – 12:00 p.m.

Join former historical interpreter Kay Powell as she demonstrates this old-fashioned music machine.

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum.

Hamilton, More Than a Musical” — Eric Mease, Delaware Humanities speaker – 1:15 p.m.

This one-hour PowerPoint lecture outlines the life of the first secretary of the treasury of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. The story is told using some of the videos and music from the hip hop Broadway musical, “Hamilton: An American Musical” by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and filling in where the musical leaves some historical gaps. This lecture is designed to capture the imagination of both young and old about the rise and fall of one of the most brilliant young minds of our founding generation through the hip hop music of today’s young and young at heart.

Eric Mease is an American history buff with a specific interest in the Early American period. He is a retired paralegal from the DuPont Company’s Intellectual Property group, a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a master’s degree in arts and liberal studies from the University of Delaware. Mease is a member of the board of trustees of the Historical Society of Cecil County, and a past member of the board of directors of the Historic Elk Landing Foundation, both based in Elkton, Maryland. He has taught continuing education classes at Cecil College, Harford Community College, and Delaware Technical and Community College around a wide range of topics including the American Civil War; America’s Founding Fathers and Mothers; the Declaration of Independence; Alexander Hamilton; a comparison between the founding of Plymouth, Massachusetts and Jamestown, Virginia; American slavery; and the race to the moon. He is married with two grown children and four grandchildren. Besides history, his hobbies include camping, biking and long-distance running. He has three marathon and 70 half-marathon medals adorning a basement wall!

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum, or on YouTube.

This program is funded by a grant from Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“My Dear Douglass: The Story of Victor’s Forgotten Co-Founder” – 2:30 p.m.

This full-length documentary explores the life of Leon Forrest Douglass, a pioneer and inventor who revolutionized recorded music and the early motion picture industry. Though largely forgotten today, Douglass worked his way through the early phonograph era before co-founding the Victor Talking Machine Company with his partner and eventual life-long friend, Eldridge Reeves Johnson.  This documentary illuminates his achievements and his struggles that still impact our daily lives today.

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum, or on YouTube.

Photo of Leon F. Douglass
Leon F. Douglass

Downtown Dixieland Band 3:45 p.m.

The band plays Dixieland and ragtime music from the early 20th century.

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum, or on YouTube.

“Old Time Radio Show” — Possum Point Players Radio Theatre – 6:00 p.m.

A branch of the Possum Point Players of Georgetown and brainchild of the late David Palmer, the Possum Point Players Radio Theatre was founded in 1996. Its mission is double-pronged: To read plays aloud at monthly meetings and to present for the public staged readings of dramatic material. The group creates a network-ting studio, complete with microphones, sound effects and transcribed music.

After a brief introduction to some of the popular shows of the “Golden Age of Radio”, they will be presenting an episode of Easy Aces entitled Jane Serves on a Jury.  Goodman Ace wrote the show’s scripts and played the exasperated but loving husband to Jane as his deceptively scatterbrained, language molesting, more that periodically meddlesome wife.  In this episode, all merriment breaks out as Jane is selected to serve on a jury.

Commercial air travel may have been new then, but the airlines were already looking to the future and how to complicate matters, as we shall see in No Frills Airlines.

The Players will conclude with a humorous look at the national pastime as seen through the eyes of Abbott and Costello.

Their cast includes, Andrew Herzberg, Carole and George Mason, Bernie Noeller, Marilyn Ransom Noeller, EJ Panico, Tony Pierantozzi, Jennifer Schultz, Anna Toyna, and Andy Rollman at the Sound Effects Table.

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum, or on YouTube.

Photo of the Possum Point Radio Theatre
Possum Point Radio Theatre

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theatre – 7:30 p.m.

Bob Gleason was trained in theater by performing in 60+ productions at West Chester University. A member of the Army’s Special Services Chorus, he shared his four-octave vocal talents as a goodwill ambassador touring the U.S. and Germany.

Gleason has been especially popular at schools, museums, historic sites and libraries throughout the United States including the White House Visitor’s Center, Ford’s Theatre, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, Mount Rushmore, the Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Constitution Hall, the National Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Bartram’s Garden, Betsy Ross’ House, the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge and many more. In-depth historical research and audience interactivity have become hallmarks of Gleason’s historical portrayals.

Join this program in person at Zwaanendael Park next to the Zwaanendael Museum, or on YouTube.

Bob Gleason as Buffalo Bill