"Comedy and Humanity" in 2018!

Programs for 9/29/2018 - confirmed so far....


KEYNOTE:  "THE SPIRITUALITY OF LAUGHTER" with Rabbi and Stand-up Comic Bob Alper

   Rabbi Bob Alper

Rabbi Bob Alper

On Sept. 29, 2018, Rabbi Bob Alper will take the Waxahachie Chautauqua stage to speak on “The Spirituality of Laughter”.  Rabbi Alper is an ordained rabbi who served congregations for fourteen years and holds a doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary.  He says this prepared him well for a 27-year comedy career with wonderfully unique material presented in a way that's intelligent, sophisticated, and 100% clean.

Rabbi Alper performs all across North America and England, at corporate events, theatres, non-profits, conventions, private parties, churches, and, naturally, synagogues. Last summer he appeared at to a standing ovation before 2,700 people at New York's famed Chautauqua Institution.

The rabbi-comedian draws tremendous media attention, and, among others, has been seen on The Early Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Showtime, the BBC, and CNN.


laughter league hospital-2.jpg

“LAUGHTER LEAGUE” Brings Medical Clowning to the Chautauqua

Professional medical clowns from “Laughter League” will show and discuss how the transformative power of humor impacts the healing process in lives of the children and families they serve.

Laughter League performers work with Child Life departments and medical staff to identify patients in need of a laugh. They are an integral part of the circle of care in many hospitals, providing distraction during procedures, encouraging kids to walk, eat, take medicine or simply empower them for a few moments during their hospitalization.

"SCIENCE CIRCUS" Comes to Chautauqua!


On Sept. 29, 2018, Peter Davison, champion juggler and movement artist from Boulder, CO, will arrive on the Chautauqua stage with unicycle in hand.

Peter combines the artistry of a physical comedian, dancer, and National Juggling Champion in a magical performance that captivates all ages. He finds extraordinary things to do with ordinary objects, which he brings to life as characters in a pantomime, or partners in a dance. More on Peter Davison


Well-Known Actor/Comedian Takes Chautauqua Stage

Known as one Hollywood's best storytellers, native Dallasite Stephen Tobolowsky will return to Texas and bring his stories to Chautauqua Sept. 29!

 As a character actor, many know his face, but not his name. Over the years, he has  appeared in everything from the 1993 movie Groundhog Day to the current Netflix series One Day at a Time.  He has amassed over 250 other credits on both the big and small screens. 

Tobolowsky was recently inducted into the Character Actor Hall of Fame. His charm and ability to make the audience laugh with his comedic timing makes him a one-of-a kind actor who has used comedy to help him survive even the darkest of times.
More on: Stephen Tobolowsky 

Well-Known Humorist Will Rogers Returns to our Chautauqua Stage!


The quick wit and kind criticism of legendary humorist Will Rogers returns to our Chautauqua stage on Sept. 29 – after 91 years - brought to us through the performance of acclaimed Oklahoma scholar, actor and Will Rogers ambassador, Dr. Doug Watson.

After performing in Wild West shows as a young man, Oklahoma native Will Rogers broke into vaudeville and then Broadway. His folksy wit and common sense attitude made him one of the most famous actors and speakers in the world in the 1920s and '30s.

On February 26, 1927, Rogers performed to an enthusiastic crowd at the Waxahachie Chautauqua Auditorium.  The Waxahachie Daily Light reported that the entertainer provided the audience “one hundred and one minutes of engrossingly entertaining comments and cross fires on topics of the day.”  Topics included his trip to Europe, Mussolini, U.S. foreign policy, the League  of Nations, disarmament, the plight of the farmer, and former Texas Governor Jim Ferguson.

Dr. Doug Watson is professor emeritus of English of Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2010 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. He has been involved in historical characterization since 1991, performing more than a thousand programs in schools, libraries, Chautauquas, and conference venues.


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Let us know if you want to help put together this exciting Chautauqua year – there are lots of opportunities!      




(2017): "celebrating public spaces" - Sat. Sept. 30, 2017

 A daylong celebration of PUBLIC SPACES through architecture, history,  art, drama, dance, birds of prey, and landscape architecture.  It included programs on public spaces in Waxahachie, TX and Chautauqua across North America.  Keynote speaker was Allison Blais,  Executive VP of National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum (NYC) speaking on "A Place of Remembrance and Resilience."

See 2017 PRESENTATIONS 9/30/2017 (pdf)
See 20
17 FLYER (pdf)
See 2017 EXHIBITS & DEMOS) (pdf)

See 2017 SCHEDULE on 9/30/2017
See 2017 Joshua Chapel Celebration 9/29/2017

See 2017 "Chautauqua Grove" Dedication 7/26/2017
See 2017 VIDEO


(2016): "the world of water" - Sat. Sept. 24, 2016

 A daylong celebration of WATER through history, archeology, aquaponics, sea shanties, landscape architecture, glass harp, Handel's "Water Music", and so much more. Keynote speaker was Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau telling us about his "The Great Ocean Adventure."

See 2016 PRESENTATIONS (pdf)
See 2016 FLYER (pdf)
See 2016 EXHIBITS & DEMOS (pdf) 

See 2016 SCHEDULE for the day of 9/24/2016
See 2016 BROCHURE (pdf) 


(2015): "Chautauqua celebrates flight" - Sat. Sept. 26, 2015

 A daylong celebration of FLIGHT through human space flight, DaVinci's flying machines, ancient Mayan dances of flight, WWII pilots, and flight demonstrations of both drones and birds of prey.  We also honored Waxahachie native Bessie Coleman, first female African American pilot, with a re-enactment of her life.  Keynote speaker was Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut, telling the "Lessons Learned from the Ill-Fated Apollo 13 Mission."   

See 2015 FLYER (pdf)
See 2015 PRESENTATIONS (pdf)
See 2015 EXHIBITS & DEMOS (pdf)
Houston Chronicle article about the 2015 Chautauqua festival.