We’ve told you how excited we are about our September 17 program “Osceola’s Muse Preview.” If you missed earlier posts, we’ll have a panel discussion and preview vignettes of this exciting production that will debut at Battery Gadsden (1917 I’On Ave on Sullivan’s Island) for four performances October 11, 12, 18 and 19, 2019 at 7:30. Check out their Facebook page.
Our DIHS preview event will be at 6:30 pm, Tuesday, September 17 at Church of the Holy Cross on Daniel Island. We expect a big turnout for this event and because of limited space at the Parish Hall we’re asking that you rsvp. DIHS members can receive priority registration by sending an RSVP to Beth Bush at email@example.com by Sept. 1. After Sept. 1, registration is open to the general public.
Among the panelists at our preview event will be acclaimed local artist and DIHS friend Jonathan Green.
Osceloa’s Muse is a theatrical story about the marriage of the famous Seminole warrior, Osceola, to Morning Dew, the daughter of a union between an escaped slave and a Native American. Its themes of subjugation, brutality, and unlikely alliances, resonate from Fort Moultrie’s ancient walls to news headlines today. This compelling episode of history, which ended beneath the soil of Sullivan’s Island, inspired a collaboration of actors, artists, and members of the Native American and cultural communities to conceive of a unique retelling at Battery Gadsden Cultural Center this October. Celebrated painter Jonathan Green, who designed the costumes and scenery for the production says, “We here in South Carolina are beginning to tell our own truths through the arts and history.”
Green, whose colorful paintings are collected worldwide, has been truly inspired by Morning Dew. Although much of her true story has been lost, she remains a mysteriously captivating character and symbol of the fierce alliance of Native Americans, freed Blacks, and slaves that ended so tragically. Cultural intersections have compelled Green throughout his career. When he infused Spoleto’s 2016 production of Porgy and Bess with African aesthetic, it was a revelatory moment in Charleston’s cultural history. He’s enthusiastic about doing that again for Osceola’s Muse.
“My role is preserving the visual imagery of our culture,” said Green. “It’s my role coming from one culture and being part of another. I’m always thinking of what I can do to visually remind us of the beauty of Africans.”
Historical photographs of Osceola and Morning Dew show African influences in their dress, along with colonial and Native ones. Green’s costumes combine the traditional Seminole accessories such as ostrich features with kente cloth and diamond shapes.
“Everytime I approach the canvas, I strive to capture the magnificent legacy my ancestors left me and my family despite their enslavement, oppression, and horrific challenges. I choose to paint with my heritage, not with angst but to celebrate the traditions.”
“The mission of the Battery Gadsden Cultural Center is not just preservation of island history, but also of island culture,” noted Michael Walsh, president of the Center. “…Osceola’s Muse will fulfill both the cultural and historical goals of our organization.”
And provide an inspiration evening of provocative theatre.