Oklahoma Chautauqua Brings “Tale of Two Americas” to OSU-Tulsa

TULSA (May 27, 2010) – This year’s Oklahoma Chautauqua will explore the injuries that the Civil War left on the nation and its people. “The Wounds of War: A Tale of Two Americas” will be presented June 8-12 at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.

Performances will take place Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. under the tent. Appearing in costume, scholars recount stories in the character’s own words and in the language of their time. A question-and-answer session with the scholar both in and out of character will follow each performance. The 19th annual event is presented by the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa.

“These characters are historical figures who were wounded in body, mind and spirit by this great divide in the nation,” said Ken Busby, executive director of the Council. “These wounds were felt personally, politically and professionally. Yet, with incredible determination, resolve and spirit, these heroes overcame the most difficult circumstances of war to propel themselves to new heights for the benefit of all citizens.”

Scholars performing in this year’s living history program will portray Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, two of the most famous and celebrated generals in American history; William Seward, a well-known political figure and the U.S. secretary of state under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson; Major Martin Delany, an African-American abolitionist and the first African-American field officer in the U.S. Army during the Civil War; and Clara Barton, a teacher, battlefield nurse and organizer of the American Red Cross.

Daily workshops will take place Tuesday through Saturday at noon and 5:30 p.m. in OSU-Tulsa’s Conference Center, North Hall 150. Local musicians will provide entertainment each night at 6:30 p.m. prior to the evening performances.

All workshops and performances are free and open to the public and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase refreshments on site. 

The first chautauqua was held in the 1870s at New York’s Lake Chautauqua, originally a camp for Sunday school teachers. In the early 20th century, chautauqua was a tent show traveling along a circuit in the Midwestern United States that presented a stage for contemporary culture, political oratory and discussion of modern social issues. The modern chautauqua movement began during the American bicentennial, as a tent revival for humanities and as an entertaining means to provoke discussion of American history.

Funding for the Tulsa Chautauqua is provided in part by a grant from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Major support for this program is provided by the following: OSU-Tulsa, The Mervin Bovaird Foundation, the Downtown DoubleTree Hotel and Williams.

OSU-Tulsa is located in downtown Tulsa at 700 North Greenwood Ave., near I-244 and Detroit Avenue. For more information, contact the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa at 918-584-3333, extension 19, or visit the council’s web site at www.ahct.org.

Updated 05-27-2010

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