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I’m Working On Something Important

Still image from “Not On My Watch,” Original Theater Piece Created and Performed by Kelton House Museum and Garden in Columbus, Ohio. Photo from the Kelton House website.

Oh hey! I’m back from a long blog break. But it’s not because I haven’t been doing anything; much to the contrary, actually. Let me update you on some projects I’m working on.

Today I travel to Columbus, Ohio to work on a video project with Kelton House. A museum, event venue and educational center, Kelton House is the preserved home of an abolitionist family who served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The Kelton House Museum and Garden is a community service program of the Junior League of Columbus, who hired me to work on this video.

The video will document the full performance of  Not On My Watch: The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of 1858.  This theater piece is a dramatization of a court case from the story of John Price, a fugitive slave living in Oberlin, who was captured by federal marshals intending to return him to slavery. Oberlin anti-slavery students and townspeople freed the runaway from his jail, and the subsequent trial brought the country to the brink of war.

Not On My Watch was created from accounts drawn from Nat Brandt’s book, The Town That Started the Civil War. It is performed by the members of the Kelton House Underground Railroad Community Advisory Committee. The performance includes twelve speaking roles, performed by actors; and it will also include an active audience of Columbus residents from the historical re-enactment community. Everyone will be in full period costume.

Oh yes, this is going to be really fun.

Kelton House wants to use the complete video to educate a wider audience about a very important piece of history. This type of project is one of the reasons I love doing video; I get to learn, meet interesting people, and contribute to a valuable project that serves the public good.

And also, incidentally, I will get to visit a dear friend in Columbus. So it’s going to be a great weekend! I look forward to sharing images and video with you soon.

Read more about the history of the John Price story here.

Check out Kelton House’s full retinue of educational theater here. The write up from “Not On My Watch” is toward the bottom; the youtube trailer is from an earlier performance, and was recorded by a participant.

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