June 17, 2011
Contact: Lesley Fry at (419) 995-8671 or Pam Joseph at (419) 995-8284
Ohio State Lima gearing up to host Ohio Chautauqua 2011
Workshop and performance schedules set
The Ohio State University at Lima is gearing up to host Ohio Chautauqua July 6-10, 2011, on the Ohio State Lima Campus and at various locations around the Lima and surrounding communities. This living history event combines music, entertainment, education and theatre for audiences of all ages and commemorates the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
The five-day event kicks off Wed., July 6, with live music by the Conkers, followed by a performance by the scholar-actor who portrays Harriet Tubman, a former slave and Underground Railroad conductor. Thursday’s entertainment begins with music by Bob Schroeder and Ed Burwell from Exploit and ends with a historical portrayal of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War military surgeon and Medal of Honor winner. Ed Zickafoose and Jim Boedicker headline Friday’s musical entertainment before the character of Martin Delany takes the stage to talk about being the first African-American to realize the rank of major in the Union Army. Saturday’s evening line-up includes music by Picks & Sticks string band and a scholar-actor performance of Mary Boykin Chesnut, a Civil War diarist featured in Ken Burns’ The Civil War and the wife of a prominent South Carolina plantation owner. The Lima Beane Chorus and the portrayal of Abraham Lincoln conclude the five-day event on Sunday. All music begins at 6 p.m. and the scholarly performances follow at 7 p.m. under the Ohio Chautauqua tent on the Quad at Ohio State Lima.
In addition to portraying their respective historical figure in a tent show each night, each scholar actor will lead workshops for various age groups at venues around Allen, Auglaize and Putnam Counties. Youth workshops are recommended for children ages 8 and up. Workshop descriptions follow.
10 a.m., Wed., July 6, Putnam County District Library in Ottawa
Scholar-actor Richard Johnson (Abraham Lincoln) presents “Dear Mr. President” for youth. Dr. Johnson tells the delightful and inspiring story of Grace Bedell, the 11-year-old girl who convinced Abraham Lincoln to grow a beard. He continues by reading more recent letters of children to U.S. presidents, and then encourages children to send a letter or a drawing to our current president.
12 p.m., Wed., July 6, Allen County Museum
Debra Conner (Mary Edwards Walker) presents “Please, Do You Have Any News?” for adults. More than 600,000 soldiers died during the Civil War, equivalent in today’s population to six million deaths. For the first time in American history, massive numbers of soldiers died far from home, without family, often without acknowledgement or ceremony. This workshop will explore how Americans dealt with these staggering losses.
2 p.m., Wed., July 6, Lima YMCA
Dianne Moran (Mary Boykin Chesnut) will walk children through daily life during the Civil War in “Civil War Diaries.” Youth will learn more about a child’s role when family members went off to war and how their lives changed. Two volunteers from the audience will be dressed in period clothing to help them better understand daily life during that time.
10:15 a.m., Thurs., July 7, Bradfield Community Center
Scholar-actor Ilene Evans (Harriet Tubman) introduces youth to some of the chants and rhymes that folks may have heard when they arrived at Port Royal, South Carolina, in the 1860s during “African American Heritage: Stories, Games and Songs.”
10:30 a.m., Thurs., July 7, Auglaize County District Public Library in Wapakoneta
Award-winning storyteller Dianne Moran (Mary Boykin Chesnut) brings the past to life by sharing celebrated literary works of the time during “A Literary Look at the American Civil War.” Through classic stories by authors such as Ambrose Bierce, William Faulkner and Stephen Crane, the Civil War continues to rage on, 150 years later. This workshop will include stories such as Bierce’s The Mockingbird and Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily, as well as an original tale. Woven into the program will be interesting facts about daily life during the war. Relive the humor and the tragedy of the time through the compelling art of storytelling.
2 p.m., Thurs., July 7, Ohio State Lima Visitor and Student Services Center
Richard Johnson (Abraham Lincoln) leads “Your Favorite Lincoln Stories and Mine.” During this workshop, adults can swap their favorite Lincoln stories and discuss why it’s important to remember Lincoln and keep his memory alive through popular stories and humorous tales.
2:30 p.m., Thurs., July 7, Auglaize County District Public Library in Wapakoneta
During this workshop, James Armstead (Martin Delany) will examine the Civil War strategy generally and the Anaconda Plan specifically, as the recipes for victory in “Strategy and Planning for the Long Campaign.” Most studies of the Civil War concentrate on specific battles. But to fully understand the war, a discussion of strategic concepts is necessary. This program will foster a better understanding of the nature of the war and the prerequisites for complete and final victory.
11 a.m., Fri., July 8, Allen County Children’s Garden Gazebo
Debra Conner (Mary Edwards Walker) will sample a few “health” foods with youth during “Healthy Living, Civil War Style.” Sarsaparilla, garlic, ginseng and sassafras are a few of the ingredients used in tonics and home remedies that were popular during the Civil War era. Conner will explore the foods that people ate to stay healthy 150 years ago and their nutritional value. Some of the Allen County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions about the garden following the workshop.
1 p.m., Fri., July 8, Allen County Museum
During “The Port Royal Experiment: Rehearsal for Radical Reconstruction of the South,” Ilene Evans (Harriet Tubman) explores different points of view during the Union Army occupation of Port Royal, South Carolina from Nov. 7, 1861, until the end of the war. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the stories of some of the soldiers, missionaries, teachers, newly freed captives, nurses, cooks and spies through the eyes of Harriet Tubman.
11 a.m., Sat., July 9, Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Parks amphitheatre at the Ottawa Metro Park
In this show-and-tell youth session, James Armstead (Martin Delany) will demonstrate some of the soldiers’ gear and living conditions while on campaign in “The Every Day Life of the Civil War Soldier.” Men were not properly clothed, medicine was in short supply and it was impossible to maintain a clean living environment. The Civil War soldier traveled on his feet and lived off the land to a great extent. Nevertheless, he carried a load of more than 50 pounds of gear.
1 p.m., Sat., July 9, Lima YMCA
The Picks & Sticks musical entertainment act for Saturday night’s tent show, will present “Contras and Squares” as they lead a square dancing workshop. This string band plays a gumbo mixture of acoustical folk, swing, traditional, light pop, western, country, jazz, bluegrass, oldies, and ethnic tunes that captivate audiences of all genres.
Ohio Chautauqua 2011 is the culminating point of Ohio State Lima’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Ohio State Lima last hosted Ohio Chautauqua in 2001.
Ohio Chautauqua is sponsored and presented by the Ohio Humanities Council and brought to you locally by The Ohio State University at Lima. For more information, contact Roger Nimps at (419) 995-8369.
Editors’ Note: Photos of the scholar actors and a collage of the actual characters portrayed are available as well as the logos for Ohio State Lima and the Ohio Humanities Council. A PDF booklet outlining the entire schedule, character biographies and Chautauqua background information is also available upon request.