Chautauqua Movement

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An outgrowth of the lyceum movement, originated at Lake Chautauqua, N.Y., where annual Methodist Episcopal camp meetings had been held until they were reorganized (1874) as assemblies for religious study. The program was extended to include other branches of education, as well as musical and dramatic entertainments. The resulting Chautauqua Institution offered correspondence courses, published books, issued The Chautauquan (1880–1914), and held an annual summer school. Its success caused other communities throughout the U.S. to imitate the venture, and “chautauqua” became a generic name for programs given by troupes of lecturers and entertainers, operated in the manner of traveling theatrical companies, and performing in rural settlements.

Subjects: Theatre.

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