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Chautauqua in Burton

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Susan Marie Frontczak portrays Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, at the Burton Chautauqua event on the night of the June 6 at Century Village, Burton. (MP Photo/Sofia Dicillo)

By Sofia DiCillo

The Ohio Humanities Council recently presented Chautauqua, a free tour stop show that demonstrates the stories behind historical figures from the past. Chautauqua travels back in time to give viewers a glimpse into the lives of those who came before us, in order to give us a proper understanding of their particular time period. The performances range from Marie Curie and her scientific discoveries all the way up to Dian Fossey, a famous woman known for loving and working with gorillas. The remarkable presentations allowed people of the present to see past events from a different perspective.

Susan Marie Frontczak gave an outstanding performance as Marie Curie on the first night of the show. The actress’ disposition displayed exquisite understanding of Madame Curie’s early life, and her later years of discovery and success. She truly brought the story to life in her successful attempt to bring others into the life of the scientist. Many may see Marie Curie as simply “the woman who discovered Polonium and Radium”, but there is much more to the story. Frontczak introduced into her performance heartfelt emotion, laughter and joy as she brought back a figure of the past. Marie Curie, however, wasn’t the only woman played by Frontczak. Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, was also portrayed. Frontczak displays a work of heartfelt thoughts, as she portrays Shelley’s views impeccably. She described how, just as Frankenstein assembled parts to create his monster, Shelley did the same with bits and pieces from her dream. She built them into a piece of literature, still famous today. Even the name “Frankenstein” has its own origin from Shelley’s personal life. She chose it because it was the name of one of the largest mountains in Switzerland that she saw on a summer trip there. Frontczak gathers in the audience and encourages them to participate as she brings forth her stories to share with the world about figures of the past.

Preston Superstore and Red Maple Inn were two primary sponsors for this event. Red Maple Inn (440-834-8334) is right next door to Century Village south of the square and Preston Superstore  is located on Kinsman Road, Route 87 just west of the square in Burton. For information, call 866-707-2953 or visit www.PrestonSuperStore.com.

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