Prairieland Chautauqua explores Golden Age of American cinema

By Gary Scott on September 3, 2016 at 9:55am

American cinema’s biggest stars are coming back to life at the 18th annual Prairieland Chautauqua, which is set to take place next month..

Program Director Dave Truesdale joined WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind?” on Wednesday, where he talked about the origins of the Prairieland Chautauqua and the impact of MacMurray Professor Dr. Wolf Fuhrig.

“Frankly, without Dr. Fuhrig’s presence, there would be no Prairieland Chautauqua. Dr. Fuhrig found the venue, arranged for the tent, went for the donors, got the state to kick in some money to get started. He hired all the performers and he had to make sure that they got paid and got put up while they were here overnight. He had to hire somebody to handle the sound. All of these are things he had to put together,” says Truesdale.

The 2016 Prairieland Chautauqua is titled “The Silver Screen” because its subject matter covers a specific era in American cinematic history.

“The theme this year is ‘The Silver Screen,’ which basically covers

Lecturers and performers from various Illinois universities will cover a range of topics, including the film songs of Judy Garland, the careers of Orson Welles, Shirley Temple Black and Bette Davis, and the film songs of Fred Astaire. Performances will take place between 4 and 9 pm each day.

The 2016 Prairieland Chautauqua is presented by the Morgan County Historical Society and hosted by First Christian Church in South Jacksonville. Hamilton’s Catering will provide dinner for purchase every evening at 6. The event will run between Saturday, September 3rd and Monday, September 5th and is free and open to all.