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The West Virginia Humanities Council is seeking applications from individuals interested in portraying historical figures with statewide name recognition for the Council’s popular History Alive! program. Portrayals of historically significant people no longer living, from any period of history, are eligible for consideration. For people with an interest in history, theater, or both, History Alive! offers a meaningful opportunity to expand those pursuits while helping to enlighten and educate West Virginians.
Proposals are sought for portrayals of influential people from all walks of life and professions who have made important contributions to state, national or international history. These could include, but are not limited to: explorers, inventors, musicians, statesmen, artists, authors, educators, military leaders, social activists, athletes, scientists, business and labor leaders, and others. The roster of characters currently includes fourteen historical figures ranging from Cornstalk to Mark Twain.
History Alive! characters are researched thoroughly by the presenters who portray them. First-person sources such as letters, journals, speeches, official papers, autobiographies, and other archival materials are required research to develop the presentations. Each year History Alive! presentations are given at schools, libraries, civic groups, museums, parks, historical societies, and a wide range of public gatherings across West Virginia. Beginning in January 2014 the presentations will be available for $125 and, for the first time, to for-profit groups.
The application deadline is February 1, 2014. Proposals are limited to two potential characters per applicant. Composite characters, legends, or mythical figures will not be considered. Potential presenters must also pass an audition before being added to the History Alive! roster. Selected presenters will join the History Alive! program beginning November 1, 2014, for a minimum two-year period.
Those interested in applying should contact Humanities Council program officer Mark Payne at 304-346-8500 or payne@wvhumanities.org to request application materials.