Tuesday, June 2, 2009

History at Its Finest: Oklahoma Chautauqua

I love history. It was always one of my favorite classes in school - okay, that was partially because the boys were cute and threw paper airplanes at me and I thought it meant they liked me, and partially because I really dug the smell of my new textbook, but mostly, it was because I loved history itself.

If I weren't headed out of town tomorrow with a million things to do to prepare tonight (like forcing myself to eat dinner even though at the idea of flying for the first time since Clinton's second inauguration I want to puke), I would be all over a living history event going down at OSU-Tulsa this week, starting today. It's the one and only Oklahoma Chautauqua, a series presented each June that offers performances, workshops, school outreach and opportunities to interact with scholars who take on characters of famous people of the past, all in one five-day-long mashup. And guess what? The whole thing is free and open to the public. 

To mark the bicentennial of the birth of our 16th president, this year's theme is Lincoln's Legacy of Equality: Voices on the Fringe. The players are Dr. Doug Mishler as Jefferson Davis; Charles Pace as Frederick Douglas; Ilene Evans as Harriet Tubman; Dr. Carroll Peterson as Walt Whitman; and Dr. Michael Hughes as John Ross. 

Workshops are held today until about 7. At 7:25, the Chautauqua scholars will take the stage. Tonight stars Evans as Tubman, an act not to be missed. See the rest of the Chautauqua schedule here.

Thanks to the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa and the Oklahoma Humanities Council for this event that is, as you so aptly put it on the Chautauqua Web site, "historical tourism at its finest."


Anna Marie said...

My aunt, Carole Klein, was invited to do the artwork for the cover of the booklet for Chautauqua for several years. Cool history, indeed!

Brigid said...

I've always wanted to do Chautauqua. I studied US History in college, and theatre is one of my favorite hobbies. I wish I could make it this year.

Tasha said...

Brigid, you studied history? Cool! I was an American Studies major, which is a lot like history, only not.

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