3rd Annual Voices of the Valley Chautauqua August 4-5 in Pueblo

The second annual Voices of the Valley Chautauqua will feature historically significant authors from the past, portrayed by nationally renowned professional Chautauqua scholar-performers on Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, beginning at 6 p.m. On the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus under the Chautauqua tent, Brian "Fox" Ellis and Kevin Radaker will portray four famous authors who have left a lasting impression on the world's ideologies: Charles Darwin, C.S. Lewis, Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. Everyone is invited to bring a picnic dinner to eat during the Chautauqua performances. To complement the Voices of the Valley Chautauqua, movies will be shown earlier in the week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the InfoZone on the 4th Floor of the Robert Hoag Rawlings Public Library at 100 East Abriendo Avenue, Pueblo.

Today's Chautauqua is the first-person portrayal of historical figures performed by scholars who have researched their characters and times, and crafted monologues and costumes to bring the figures to life for audiences under a big tent in the open air, a tradition harking from New York State's Lake Chautauqua region of the early 1800s. A question and answer period follows the monologue, during which the Chautauquan will interact with the audience in the character of their Chauatauqua portrayal, and also as themselves with their modern-day perspective.

Kevin Radaker, whose Henry David Thoreau will enter the Voices of the Valley tent at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 29, is a professor of English and chair of the English department at Anderson University, Anderson, Ind. Since 1991, Radaker has portrayed Thoreau - an author and poet, abolitionist, naturalist, historian and philosopher - more than 350 times throughout the United States. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, Radaker will return to the Chautauqua tent to portray C.S. Lewis, author of more than 30 books, including "Shadowlands" and "The Chronicles of Narnia" series.

Brian "Fox" Ellis, of Fox Tales International, is a renowned storyteller, author and naturalist from Peoria, Ill. He has developed more than a dozen first-person monologues during his tour of the world since 1980 as a performer and educator. At 7 p.m. on Friday, July 29, he will bring us Charles Darwin, whose hypothesis of how evolution works is now the unifying theory of biological sciences explaining the diversity of life. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, Ellis will portray the man often called the father of free verse, Walt Whitman, who wrote "Leaves of Grass" and the eulogy "Oh Captain, My Captain" for his hero, Abraham Lincoln.

From director Jon Amiel, "Creation," the 2009 biographical story about the life and love of Charles Darwin will be shown at the library on Monday, July 25. Two Disney and Walden Media feature films based on the Narnia stories by C.S. Lewis will also be shown at the library, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" on Tuesday, July 26, and "Prince Caspian" on Wednesday, July 27. All three movies will be shown starting at 6:30 p.m. All Voices of the Valley Chautauqua events, including the three movies, are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Midori Clark, director of community relations for the Pueblo City-County Library District, at (719) 562-5605 or e-mail midori.clark@pueblolibrary.org.