It’s hard to imagine a better start to your 2019-2020 program year than Tuesday night’s Osceola Muse Preview. The turn out was big and the program lived up to expectations.
We were given behind the scene looks into how the project launched and insights from some of the artists who brought it to life.
Executive Producer Carol Antman said she was enjoying her retirement, but the Osceola story stayed in her mind. When she ran into artist Jonathon Green at a party and found he shared interest in Osceola, the project took off. Antman says Green’s interest…and his artistic reputation…brought Pure Theatre into the mix.
Green and Antman both wanted Osceola’s wife Morning Dew to be the focus of the project. Antman said she’s largely unknown, like many women in history. Green shared that thought pointing out women of color are rarely spoken of. He said his costume design for the project focused on the West African influences on Native Americans in the South. Morning Dew is widely believed to have been an escaped slave.
The evening included Tom Sobol of the National Park Service giving a rundown on Osceola’s life and his death while imprisoned at Ft. Moultrie.
Artist Kris Manning walked us through how she created elements for the interactive Osceola’s Muse event in mid-October at Sullivan’s Island’s Battery Gadsden.
So who was Osceola’s Muse, Morning Dew? Ranger Tom Sobol gave us a little information Tuesday night and Carol Antman and Jonathon Green both spoke to how history “forgets” about women, and particularly women of color. A Google search isn’t much help since most of the results deal with the Grateful Dead song, “Morning Dew”. But drill down a bit and you’ll find this: “As an adult, Osceola took two wives, as did some other high-ranking Creek and Seminole leaders. With them, he had at least five children. One of his wives was African American, and Osceola fiercely opposed the enslavement of free people. Lt. John T. Sprague mentions in his 1848 history, The Florida War that Osceola had a wife named “Che-cho-ter” (Morning Dew), who bore him four children. “in a Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osceola. Not surprisingly, there is no generally accepted image believed to be of Morning Dew.