1st Person Historical Impersonations
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players….And one man in his time plays many parts.”
Dynamic first-person historical impersonations (living biographies) in authentic period costume of famous literary and historical personages from the pages of history – history brought to life!
“That’s Just Bully” – Teddy Roosevelt & the Great Adventure of Life!
Meet Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States, and learn more about his extraordinary life and times. Experience his warm, outgoing and larger-than-life personality as well as his timeless wisdom, courage, sense of patriotic duty and dedication to his country as revealed in his own striking words, flamboyant gestures and unforgettable phrases. A highly intelligent, individualistic, uninhibited and audacious man, he left us an example of all that is to be admired and cherished in the truly free American spirit!
The Ghost of Edgar Allan Poe
The haunting poems and chilling stories of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) established him as the master of the macabre, and his detective fiction is credited with launching the genre. But behind his popularity and artistic success was a personal life defined by a melancholy nature that made his own life as tragic as one of his strange tales. Poe’s story is told from the death of his mother when he was 2 to his final collapse on the streets of Baltimore at age 40. Dramatic readings of Poe’s work underscore his devastation due to the illness and loss of his child bride Virginia, among other struggles and losses of his life.
The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain
Come meet Mark Twain (1835-1910) as he shares his wit, wisdom, and wry sense of humor through some of his most famous quips, comments, and timeless observations on just about everything—including life, love, history, culture, travel, animals, critics, politicians, youth, and human nature in general—in this highly entertaining, informative, and uplifting living history presentation in period costume. Prepare to board ’cause the steamboat’s a comin’!
“Stars & Stripes Forever” – John Philip Sousa – America’s Favorite March King
John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) was the symbol of an era of American exceptionalism, and was known as the man who did one particular thing better than any other – he was to the patriotic march what Johann Strauss, Jr. was to the waltz. He stood alone among the first composers to tour the world with his own musical organization and was destined to become the most famous bandmaster in musical history. His band, which many say has never been surpassed, was a living legend, and even today it lives on in the form of the United States Marine Corps Band – ‘The President’s Own’.
Sousa’s motto was: “Always new, always different, always uplifting!”
An Old-Fashioned Yuletide Celebration with Charles Dickens, Scrooge & “A Christmas Carol”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of 19th century England’s greatest novelists, and even today he remains one of the most universally popular writers of all time. To many, his literary characters are as real today as the day they were written,especially Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. Dickens own life was a true tale of rags-to-riches – from the shame and squalor of debt and humiliation in Victorian London to international literary success, wealth and worldwide acclaim. His reality is reflected in the lives of his famous literary creations.Come and sit by the fireside this holiday season and listen to Dickens himself share the story of his remarkable life and unforgettable tale of A Christmas Carol.
Meet Ludwig von Beethoven – Magnificent Rebel!
A veritable titan of talent, Beethoven (1770-1827) took the musical world of his day by storm. His meteoric rise and defiant end has become synonymous with the struggle of the artistic individual against the odds. Hear the intimate details of his life from dramatic excerpts from his letters. Discover what he meant when he said “God made many princes, but only one Beethoven.”
“Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” – Patrick Henry
These compelling and immortal words embodied the patriotic and fighting spirit of Patrick Henry (1736-1799) – a brilliant orator whose uncompromising love of liberty at any cost fueled the fire of the American Revolution. Henry was actually the first of America’s Founding Fathers, the first to call Americans to arms against Britain, the first to demand a bill of rights, and the first to fight against the growth of big government after the Revolution. Come and listen to the ‘Voice of Liberty’ and the ‘Trumpet of the American Revolution’ as we discover the story behind the famous words “Give me liberty, or give me death”!
Gen. ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne – Gentleman Rebel of the American Revolution
Ever wonder why the famous Revolutionary War General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) was called ‘Mad’, or what really happened at the Paoli Massacre? Then prepare to fall in and march back in time as we meet ‘Mad’ Anthony himself – dashing hero, bon vivant, dandy of the Continental Army, deadly opponent-in-arms, and Main Line native son as he reflects upon his adventurous life as one of America’s finest fighting generals!
Shakespeare in Love – A Celebration in Poetry, Prose, Music & Dance
“O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend / the brightest heaven of invention; / A kingdom for a stage, princes to act / and monarchs to behold the swelling scene.” William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s preeminent dramatist. Experience the beauty, power, and passion of his poetry and prose as romantic and captivating excerpts are read from some of his most famous sonnets and plays. This program is a tour-de-force presentation in full Renaissance costume, with visually stunning period music and dance.
An Intimate Encounter with Lord Byron – The Prince of Romantic Poets
The life story of this most famous of English romantics (1788-1824) reads like a script from the latest Hollywood blockbuster, teeming with talent and sensuality. The very term ‘Byronic’ has come to symbolize the brilliant, yet self-destructive artist as anti-hero. Experience the beauty, power and passion of his poetry and prose in this tour-de-force, living biography performance in period costume that captures the bravura and very essence of Byron himself.
The Romantic Spirit – In English Poetry & Prose
A superb study of the poets of the Romantic Age featuring selections from the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats, and Shelley. The Romantic poets rebelled against all that was conventional in their day. They embraced the fanciful, the picturesque, the beautiful, and the passionate. This highly enlightening and entertaining program, presented in the 1st person and in full Regency costume, is a perfect introduction to the romantic movement in English poetry and prose of the early 19th century. What could be more appealing than listening to excerpts from the sonorous and sensual works of the five most famous poets of the Age of Romanticism?
All Passion Spent – The Bombastic Life & Beautiful Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was probably the most unconventional yet quintessentially romantic poet of his age. His passionate spirit eclipsed his contemporaries and he has come to be considered one of the most radical and gifted poets of the English language. He possessed an extraordinary gift for lyricism, a pure and true eloquence which exalts both the sensual and aural. His Ode to the West Wind has been called the most symphonic poem in the English tongue. The life story of this famous English romantic poet and dramatic readings from his beautiful poetry are presented in period costume with music.
Bright Star – The Life, Love & Poetry of John Keats
John Keats (1795-1821) was one of the great English Romantic poets, a human being of intense spirituality, passionate vision, and immeasurable imagination. He has left a mark on poetry as pure and true as it is unforgettable. The beauty of his work, however, lies in its sensual implications, in his exquisite vocabulary and grasp of the English language. The productive yet tragic life story of this famous English romantic poet, his love affair with Fanny Brawne, and dramatic readings of selective letters and poems are presented in period costume with music.
“My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose” – The Life & Poetry of Robert “Bobbie” Burns
“O My Luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June; O My Luve’s like the melodic, that’s sweetly played in tune.” The life and poetry of Robert “Bobbie” Burns (1759-1796), Scotland’s most famous poet, is presented in period costume.
W. B. Yeats – Ireland’s Greatest Poet
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was one of the most distinguished Irish poets of all time and winner of the Nobel Prize. A tireless leader of the Celtic revival and founder of the world-famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin, he devoted much of his time and energy to the Irish Free State and Independence movement in his role as Senator of the Irish Parliament. This program is his story along with dramatic readings of his beautiful poetry, presented in period costume.
I Would Rather Be Ashes than Dust – The Adventurous Writer’s Life of Jack London
The adventurous life and writings of Jack London (1876-1916), America’s most successful writer of the early 20th century, presented in period costume.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald & the Jazz Age
Considered to be one of the greatest American authors of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was a member of the “Lost Generation” who came of age during WWI. His novels are windows into the “Jazz Age” of the 1920’s, a term he coined himself. His most famous novel, The Great Gatsby, portrays the decadence of the Roaring Twenties. Dramatic readings of excerpts from his works are presented in period costume.
Hemingway – Wrestling with Life
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” Explore the adventurous and creative life of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) and hear dramatic excerpts from his writings.
Dylan Thomas – The Welshman Who Made the English Language Sing
The literary and lyrical life of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) is explored, including dramatic readings of his poetry. Thomas, in his time, was considered a rebel and a genius, and even today he is considered a poet’s poet. He saw the workings of the universe as a magical transformation producing unity out of diversity, and again and again in his poetry he sought a poetical ritual to celebrate this diversity. Thomas was a brilliant speaker, a reckless and impulsive artist whose life was packed with emotional ups and downs. His poetry readings in America were enormous successes in spite of his own, at times, self-destructive behavior. In his time, Thomas was considered a rebel and a genius, and even today he is considered a poet’s poet. His works remain a hallmark of artistic achievement.
Yes, I Am A Dreamer – A Portrait of Oscar Wilde
“I have the simplest tastes,” remarked Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). “I am always satisfied with the best.” Widely acknowledged as the most brilliant talker of his age, he once said, “I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works.” He once told a customs official, “I have nothing to declare but my genius.” Even today his brilliantly witty, humorous, and satirical plays are still being performed on a regular basis. This is his story, presented in all its celebrated ‘pomp and panache’ as best befits the larger-than-life character of Oscar Wilde – the outrageously flamboyant dreamer himself!
Rudyard Kipling – Victorian Balladeer & Soldier’s Poet
The story of Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) is a tale of paradise won and lost. It is the story of a literary genius who wrote some of the world’s best known and enduring works of prose and poetry, yet whose own life was full of both great acclaim and deep tragedy. Kipling endured, overcame, and eventually triumphed. Today he is regarded as one of the literary giants of the 20th century and the poet of choice for both the British army and the United States Marine Corps!
And I Laid Me Down with a Will – The Life & Adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson
The life story and adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), famous Scottish novelist and poet, is presented in period costume.
Robert Louis Stevenson and “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde“
Kindly, respected Dr. Henry Jekyll is convinced that all people have two personalities lurking within them, so he concocts a drug to separate one man into two personalities and tests it on himself. Enter Mr. Hyde – Dr. Jekyll’s alter ego – as depraved and vicious as Dr. Jekyll is virtuous and kindly. Robert Louis Stevenson’s world-famous thriller explores the eternal battle between good and evil within each and every one of us. Can Dr. Jekyll overcome Mr. Hyde? Or will he become Hyde’s next victim?