Oliver Hazard Perry to visit Coshocton during Ohio Chautauqua in July

| June 12, 2013

Oliver Hazard Perry-Jeremy MeierCOSHOCTON — Ohio Chautauqua, presented by the Ohio Humanities Council, will be in Coshocton July 23-27 presenting ‘When Ohio Was the Western Frontier’. Jeremy Meier, from Sylvania, Ohio, will be among the five-person troupe and will portray Oliver Hazard Perry, famous for his role in The Battle of Lake Erie during The War of 1812.

Meier has been involved in first-person interpretation since 2001. “I first had an opportunity to research, script and perform historical figures while I was in grad school at The Ohio State University in 2001,” he said. “I was working on my MFA in Acting and I was accepted by the Ohio Chautauqua to create a performance on George Armstrong Custer and his involvement in the Civil War. Since that time, I have also toured with the Ohio Chautauqua in 2005 for my portrayal as John Dillinger and last year I developed this current portrayal as Commodore Perry.”

Meier began by researching Oliver Hazard Perry, The War of 1812, and The Battle of Lake Erie back in July of 2011. He had to understand what conditions were like in building a squadron in the wilderness, to understand the politics of the times and motives for and against warfare with Britain. “I had to understand battle strategies and a lexicon of naval terminology (some of which has changed over time),” he said. “After about nine months of notecards, footnotes and an ‘art project’ timeline of Perry’s life and the events of The War of 1812 sprawled across my kitchen walls, I started to write the monologue.”

Meier says that one of his favorite things about performing, especially in this form of first-person interpretation, is that he always has to start all over from the beginning. “There’s always so much you don’t know at the beginning of the process and it’s energizing to be faced with the question, ‘How do I tell this great story?'” he said.

Oliver Hazard Perry will take the stage under the Ohio Chautauqua tent located at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds, 707 Kenilworth Avenue on Tuesday, July 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prior to his performance, there will be musical entertainment by Larry Stahl and Steve Ball at 6:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.

Jeremy Meier will offer a youth workshop entitled  ‘A Star Spangled Banner’ for youth ages 4th grade and up at the Coshocton Presbyterian Church, 142 N. 4th Street at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 25. His Adult Workshop on ‘Three Perspectives on the Battle of Lake Erie’ will take place at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24 at Central Ohio Technical College, 200 N. Whitewoman Street, Coshocton.

“The adult workshop will give participants the opportunity to consider The Battle of Lake Erie from multiple perspectives, not just Perry’s,” said Meier. “Though the evening performance considers the motives of British Captain Barclay and Perry’s soon-to-be-nemesis Captain Elliott, the workshop gives participants ‘sides of the story’ from all three men to consider.”

Meier’s youth workshop revolves around the importance of symbols and how they communicate in short form what can take many words to say. “We will also consider that symbols aren’t always visual, as was the case when F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ during the Defense of Fort McHenry in The War of 1812,” he said. “It has since been an important symbol for the freedoms we enjoy as a free nation.”

Along with Oliver Hazard Perry, the other characters who will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. under the Ohio Chautauqua Tent during the week of July 23-27 are: Dan Cutler as Iroquois leader

Chief John Logan; Debra Conner as frontier aristocrat Margaret Blennerhassett; Marvin Jefferson as Lewis & Clark expedition memberYork; and Hank Fincken as naturalist and folk hero Johnny Appleseed.

There will also be daytime workshops led by each of the scholars for both youth and adults. The youth workshops are appropriate for youth ages ten and older. The workshops are hosted by the Coshocton Public Library and will be at 10:30 a.m. each day from July 23-27 at the Coshocton Presbyterian Church, 142 N. 4th Street, Coshocton. The adult workshops will take place at 2 p.m. each day at Central Ohio Technical College.

Sponsors and contributors to the Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton include The Coshocton Foundation, Montgomery Foundation, Simpson Family Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Coshocton, Kraft Foods, Given Dawson Funeral Home, Tom Leech, Raven’s Glenn Winery, Coshocton Village Inn & Suites, Central Ohio Technical College, Coshocton Presbyterian Church, Coshocton Public Library, and Frontier Power.

There is no charge to attend the evening performances or the daytime workshops. For more information about The Ohio Humanities Council and Ohio Chautauqua, visit www.OhioHumanities.org. For more information about Ohio Chautauqua in Coshocton, contact the Coshocton Visitors Bureau at (740) 622-4877, 1-800-338-4724 or www.VisitCoshocton.com.

Tags: ,

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.