The History Alive! program features scholars from around the state who portray historical figures at venues including museums, schools, libraries, community centers, and fairs and festivals. From Eleanor Roosevelt and Benjamin Franklin to Minnie Pearl and Julia Child, these living history performances provide a passport through time for student and adult audiences throughout the Mountain State.
The West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive! program presents a roster of historical figures available for first-person portrayals. There are fifteen History Alive! characters. They are available for a $150 booking fee to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations across West Virginia. The History Alive characters include: Gabriel Arthur, Nellie Bly, Julia Child, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Ostenaco, Minnie Pearl, Eleanor Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Sacagawea, Harriet Tubman, Mark Twain.
Each History Alive! presentation has three parts:
Monologue: Character introduces the historical, social, and political issues that influenced their life. (15 – 25 minutes)
Discussion with the Character: Character initiates a discussion with the audience, allowing an opportunity for questions. (10 – 15 minutes)
Discussion with the Presenter: Presenter “breaks character” to answer questions and continue the discussion as a researcher rather than as the historical character. (5 – 10 minutes)