Do your summer travel plans find you in the far flung reaches of the magnificent State of Washington? If so, Conundrum company member Carey Cramer invites you to join her and experience the comradery and revelry of The New Old Time Chautauqua (NOTC), America’s only traveling Chautauqua. This year NOTC joins forces with Washington State Parks for a July and August tour of seven state parks and nearby communities.

Inspiration, Entertainment, Education and Lots of Fun

Chautauquas were based on the idea that learning continued throughout life. The Chautauqua Movement began in 1874, bringing a mix of education and entertainment to communities throughout the nation. When a Chautauqua came to town, all normal activity stopped as citizens dedicated a week of their lives to learn, be entertained and join with their community.

“The idea of the Chautauqua-Parks partnership is to renew ties and to foster goodwill between the towns and their local state parks,” said Paul Magid, founding member of the NOTC and The Flying Karamazov Brothers. “Chautauquas and Washington Parks share common goals: to promote community through education and experience by being a catalyst for cultural and creative exchange surrounded by the beauty of nature."

Each Chautauqua takes place over several days, with events occurring one day in the nearby town and another day in the state park. It includes entertaining and educational workshops in parks and towns, a community potluck in each state park, live music, speakers and a grand parade—community participation encouraged—through the town. The Chautauqua comes to a close with a family-friendly finale featuring Broadway stars, a big band, aerialists, comedians, jugglers and more. 

"At our Chautauqua you can learn to tap dance, play the ukulele, improve your confidence in clowning, and even fold the nearly unfoldable fitted sheet! The workshops are an amazing combination of fun learning and opportunities for depth and life changing conversation," says Carey Cramer. "The final show is the most fun performance I've ever been a part of. It's an amazing culmination of the entire stay and the most successful ones have everyone up and dancing at the end. It's not just a show - it's an experience not to be missed!"

Carey would love to see the familiar faces of Conundrum friends and fans. For more information on tour dates and locations visit NOTC

At right: The gregarious Carey Cramer during last year's Alaska tour with NOTC (Photo: Stephen O'Bent); Washington State Parks poster