COSHOCTON -- Ohio Chautauqua, presented by the Ohio Humanities Council, will be in Coshocton July 7-11 presenting Journey Stories.
Dianne Moran from Richwoods, Mo., will be portraying Olive Ann Oatman, a white captive of the Native Americans from the mid-1800s.
"This will be my third tour with Ohio Chautauqua," said Moran. "I have also performed with the Smackover, Arkansas Chautauqua; The Missouri Chautauqua; several times for the Carbondale, IL Chautauqua; several for Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and three times for Chautauqua in Ashland, Ohio".
Moran has been performing Olive Ann Oatman for two years now and says it took her a couple of years to research the material. "The research process is truly ongoing," shared Moran.
"Many in Coshocton will remember Dianne Moran as Mary Chesnut when she was part of the Civil War theme tour here with Ohio Chautauqua in 2011," said Jan Myers, Director of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau.
Olive Oatman will take the stage under the Ohio Chautauqua tent located at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds, 707 Kenilworth Avenue on Thursday, July 9, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prior to her performance, there will be dulcimer musical entertainment by The Lindseys at 6:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
Dianne Moran will offer a youth workshop entitled 'Eyes to the West' for youth ages fourth grade and up at the Coshocton Public Library, 655 Main Street, at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 10. Her Adult Workshop on 'A Profound Destiny'' will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, at Central Ohio Technical College, 200 N. Whitewoman St., Coshocton.
Moran said her character, Olive Oatman, was an ordinary child with the misfortune of living in a particularly dangerous historical period.
"As a victim of religious racism (her family were Mormons) along with witnessing the brutal murders of most of her family members, it gives her character a wider spectrum of interest than the singular view of a westward traveler," shared Moran. "Added to these horrific experiences, she survived five years of Indian captivity before being rescued. Her story shocked the nation when she spoke to packed audiences, lecturing and showing the facial tattoo she'd received from her Mohave captors.
"Another element of my fascination of her is the idea that there are still unanswered questions concerning her time of Indian captivity....she may not have wished to rejoin the White Man's world, which is intriguing in itself. The correlation to today's area of interest includes her being the first white woman ever to be tattooed. I feel audiences will easily identify with her profound emotions making her a memorable Chautauqua character."
Moran said her evening performance will leave many questions about Olive's life. "I enjoy fleshing out my characters when given the chance to answer audience questions, in and out of character," continued Moran. "My adult workshops are designed to give a wider view of the historic atmosphere during the westward migration, particularly in reference to the Native people's unfortunate treatment by the U.S. I love doing the youth workshops, they include a lot of audience participation; dressing volunteers as Indians and pioneers and sharing a few live animals Olive may have encountered during her journey."
The schedule for the characters who will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. under the Ohio Chautauqua Tent during the week of July 7-11 are: Debra Conner as Edith Russell on Tuesday, July 7; Kevin Radaker as Henry David Thoreau on Wednesday, July 8; Dianne Moran as Olive Ann Oatman, a white captive of the Indians on Thursday, July 9; Hank Fincken as 1849er J. Goldsborough Bruff on Friday, July 10; and Marvin Jefferson as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, July 11.
Musical entertainment will precede each evening's performance and includes: Wildwood & Friends on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.; Jerry Weaver on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; The Lindseys dulcimer music on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.; The Coshocton Community Band on Friday at 6 p.m.; and Steve Ball & Larry Stahl on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Each of the scholars will also lead free workshops (which are not done in first-person) for both youth and adults throughout the week. The youth workshops are appropriate for youth ages ten and older. The workshops are held at the Coshocton Public Library and will be held at 10:30 a.m. each day from July 7-11. The adult workshops will take place at 2:00 p.m. each day at Central Ohio Technical College.
"All of us can promise to lead our audiences into the long ago," said Moran. "We delight in our journeys into the past and know you will feel all our passion as we resurrect them for you."
Sponsors and contributors to the Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton include The Coshocton Foundation, Montgomery Foundation, Simpson Family Foundation, Coshocton Village Inn & Suites, Central Ohio Technical College, Annin Flagmakers, Frontier Power, Coshocton Model Railroad Club, Coshocton REACT, Boy Scout Troops 402 and 412, and the Coshocton Public Library.
There is no charge to attend the evening performances or the daytime workshops. For information about The Ohio Humanities Council and Ohio Chautauqua visit www.OhioHumanities.org.
For information about Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton, contact the Coshocton Visitors Bureau at 740-622-4877 or 1-800-338-4724. A complete schedule of the Ohio Chautauqua events in Coshocton is available at www.VisitCoshocton.com/events.