Louisa May Alcott PORTRAYED BY PAT JORDAN

Louisa grew up at a time when America’s views on education, philosophy and human rights were radically changing.  Her father was a pioneer in education whose friends included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathanial Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller.  After living in an ideal utopian community, moving numerous times, and struggling to make a career for herself, Louisa, the tomboy of the Alcott household, went off to become a nurse in the Civil War, profoundly changing her life. Deciding never to marry, the Alcott’s “Merry Spinster” continued to write and work tirelessly for social reform. Later, she single-handedly supported her family.

Learn of her struggles and successes, her eccentric father and hard-working mother, and about the sisters who inspired Louisa’s most famous work Little Women.

Invite Louisa May Alcott to your event:

• Educational Programs: Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites.

• Parties: Meet & Greet, Chat with her informally about her writing, her career as a nurse, her role as provider for her family, and her passion for women’s rights (all ages).

One-Woman Play with optional Q&A after the presentation (45 minutes).

• Pair with other writers. • Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/Historian

"The patrons were absolutely bowled over by your detailed knowledge of Louisa May Alcott's life.... They thought you were extremely interesting and really enjoyed the humorous stories you included." -- J. H., Chinn Park Regional Library, Virginia

Susan B. Anthony Portrayed by Marjorie Goldman

Susan B. Anthony has been portrayed as a dour Quaker school “marm,” but in reality, this important suffragist had a lively sense of humor and she enjoyed having a good time. After teaching for fifteen years, Ms. Anthony began her 50+ years’ commitment to causes that included the abolition of slavery, women’s rights to their own property and earnings, and women’s right to vote, demonstrating a will unbroken by circumstance or obstacle. When the suffragist movement was threatened by an ideological split, it was Ms. Anthony who engineered the reunion of the two factions. Near the end of her life, Ms. Anthony hand-selected the women who were to “pick up the mantle,” urging her successors to be ever-vigilant, expanding and protecting the rights for which she had fought so long and valiantly. “We turn it over to a generation of women who are better-equipped. They have the unchallenged right to speak in public.” Ms. Anthony did not live to see women’s suffrage, but she knew not to give in, not to give up.

Marjorie Goldman shares Susan B. Anthony’s passion for women’s suffrage / women’s rights and for the cause of the abolition of slavery / racial equality. An experienced teacher like Susan, Goldman loves children and recognizes “teachable moments” through which her fierce dedication to human rights is immediately communicated and understood.  Through her interpretation of Ms. Anthony, we are reminded that “The world is not truly free…until the rights and privileges of others are free.” Therefore, the task is ongoing and “failure is impossible.”

Invite Susan B. Anthony to events for the League of Women Voters, women’s gatherings, humanitarian causes:

• Educational Programs: Program with Press Conference for Schools, Libraries, Museums, and Historic Sites • Parties: Meet & Greet, Mix & Mingle, Propose Toasts, Pose for Photo Ops • Parades: Participant • Pair with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alice Paul, Sojourner Truth, Rosie the Riveter. • Marjorie Goldman: Bio of Actor/Historian, Reenactor

Neill Hartley in PT Barnum: The Master Showman

Phineas Taylor Barnum was the quintessential American entertainer, who won and lost fortunes giving the people what he thought they wanted. Bringing both high and low culture to American audiences all-too-eager to be fooled, Barnum considered himself a showman first and foremost. He was determined to make money for himself, and was also generous to those working for him as part of the “Greatest Show on Earth.” Neill Hartley sings as General Tom Thumb, portraying the most popular Barnum attraction with verve, then concluding with Thumb’s signature heel click. Barnum collected and marketed people considered freaks and oddities, like George Washington’s 161 year-old nurse and the Feejee Mermaid, but he also promoted Jenny Lind, which he felt brought him class. Quite the colorful character in his own right, Hartley’s Barnum shows you a man who knew the value of his own personality. His self-published autobiography enjoyed sales second only to the Bible in North America during the 19th century. Charming, gregarious, crowd-pleasing, Neill Hartley’s P. T. Barnum is always a hit.

Invite P.T. Barnum to schools, libraries, museums, historic sites, retirement communities:

• Educational Programs: Programs for Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites. P.T. Barnum: The Master Showman,40-60 minutes + Informational Section and Q & A • Pair with Annie Oakley, Victorian Music Hall • Neill Hartley: Bio of Actor/Historian

Clara Barton PORTRAYED BY PAT JORDAN

Clara Barton was a strong-willed, intelligent individual who knew what she wanted and found ways to accomplish her goals. Born Clarissa Harlowe Barton, the youngest of five children, Clara found her calling early in life. The self-directed, compassionate girl would nurse wounded birds and cats, as well as her friends’ injured pets. When Clara’s brother fell off the roof, the young girl nursed him back to health for two years. Later, Clara was the first person to start a public school in Hightstown, NJ, growing it from 6 to almost 600 students. But when the school needed a principal and hired a man, Clara quit and never went back to teaching! Clara answered Abraham Lincoln’s call, signing on to support the Union efforts during the Civil War, frequently going to the front line, where most nurses did not go, performing procedures like removing bullets, which most nurses did not perform. Articulate and determined, this Angel of the Battlefield frequently wrote newspaper pleas for blankets, money and/or food and stockpiled what she received in a large room she rented. Meeting a young man in military prison who was keeping records of the people who died, she secured permission to create a pamphlet in the New York Times with 11,000 names, identifying many missing soldiers and locating their families – Numbering the Bones. As the founder and first president of the American Red Cross, this humanitarian assisted hurricane and tidal wave victims, obeying certain principles – you helped people until they could help themselves, you drew funds to underwrite this effort and kept records of your expenses, you paid only the manual laborers who helped in the effort (and not salaries to the managers) and you never asked those you were helping for contributions. Eventually, the Red Cross became so large, that Ms. Barton was asked to step down. But she was dedicated to the end, teaching first-aid courses in Maryland, where she retired, and building a home from the dis-assembled warehouse that had safeguarded supplies from the Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood.

Besides being the same height and having similar coloring, Pat Jordan shares many other traits with Clara Barton. Both women understood themselves from an early age and both women dedicated themselves to making a positive social impact. Pat and Clara are each passionate teachers, taking what they know and enthusiastically transferring that knowledge.  And both women have a gentle compassion that coexists with a steely determination to fulfill an innate mission. The American Historical Theatre first booked Pat Jordan as Clara Barton at Vero Beach for the American Red Cross and Colonial Dames of America, where Pat performed Clara for 4,000 students over 3 days. Since then, Ms. Jordan has interpreted Clara Barton to appreciative audiences at venues throughout the United States.

Invite Clara Barton to your event: • Keynote Speaker: Women’s Issues, Civil War, and other topics on request •Educational Programs: Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites, 40 minutes plus Q & A• Pair With Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, or other Civil War Era characters • Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/HistorianI

Clara Barton (1821-1912)

George Boker Portrayed by Bob Gleason

For more information contact American Historical Theatre: 215-625-0986.

Dorothea Dix PORTRAYED BY PAT JORDAN
 

Born to a sickly mother and an absent father, Dorothea Dix was called upon to mother her younger siblings. Consequently, at age 12 she visited her grandmother in Boston and never returned. Her grandmother was a strong New England woman who got Dorothea an education, allowing her to become a teacher, and Dorothea started a school at age 14. Instead of embracing her grandmother's legacy upon her death and becoming a lady of leisure. Dorothea became a champion for the mentally ill, prisoners, and wounded soldiers.

Visiting the horrific poorhouses, Dorothea met children, the disabled, the unfortunate and the insane, all thrown together and mistreated. She became an activist on their behalf, lobbying state legislatures and the US Congress eventually starting the first mental asylums. Later she put her efforts into the Civil War and became the Superintendant of Union Army Nurses, Her reports were brutally honest, earning her the nickname Dragon Dix. Her courage and persistence went way beyond what was expected.

Pat Jordan is perfect to portray Dorothea Dix and has performed her program in venues throughout the United States. Pat has a strong connection with Dorothea Dix and her heart goes out to her. Both Dorothea and Pat love teaching, agreeing that if you love what you do, you have a social responsibility to share what you know with others. And both women are generous with their time and their talents.  Similar in height and coloring, Pat is especially gratified that by embodying Dorothea Dix, she makes her accessible. Like Dorothea, Pat gives voice to the stories of courageous, inspirational women. That’s Pat’s mission in life and she joyfully fulfills it.

Invite Dorothea Dix to your event: • Keynote Speaker: Women’s Issues, Civil War, Education, and other topics on request •Educational Programs: Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites, 40 minutes plus Q & A• Pair with Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, or other Civil War Era characters • Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/Historian, Reenactor, or Impersonator

Robert Edward Lee PORTRAYED BY DAVID PALMER

Born to a prominent Virginia family and the son of Revolutionary War officer Lighthorse Harry Lee, Robert Edward Lee was educated at West Point and was trained as an engineer. He married the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, whom he had known as a child. Lee distinguished himself in the Mexican-American war, but spent much time on leave, straightening out the affairs of his father-in-law’s estate. A staunch Virginian, Lee came to view slavery as immoral. When Virginia seceded from the Union, he was offered, but declined, the Union command. As adviser to Confederacy President Jefferson Davis, Lee proved to be an excellent strategist, serving Virginia and the Confederacy well.

We are very fortunate in this country that the two gentlemen who sat down in Wilbur McLain’s parlor on April 9, 1865 were Robert E. Lee, General-in-Chief of Confederate forces and Ulysses S. Grant, Commander of the Union Army of the Potomac. Had Lee not been around, the Civil War might not have ended as quickly or as peacefully. And the Reconstruction period transitioning the nation in the period after the Civil War would have been far worse if Robert E. Lee had not set the example for the defeated south to become citizens of our nation once again.

Mr. Palmer presents a man who loved to flirt with the ladies, but was a faithful husband and father, a real human being who was a sibling, a son, a friend, an excellent engineer. Mr. Palmer continues to enrich his program with ongoing research, believing with Lee that “The education of a man or woman is never complete. There is always much to learn and even more to do. Perhaps self-learning is the lesson least learned in life.”

• Educational Programs for Schools, Libraries, Museums and Historical Sites: 30-45 minutes plus Q & A • Parties: Meet & Greet, Mix & Mingle, Propose Toasts, Pose for Photo Ops • Parades: Participant • Pair with Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Martha Washington • David Palmer: Bioof Actor/Historianmpersonator

General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870)

Abraham Lincoln PORTRAYED BY BOB GLEASON

Bob Gleason’s Abraham Lincoln conveys the self-taught, determined, highly individualistic man who rose from poverty.  Lincoln’s commitment to the preservation of the Union matched his compassion for those who fought to save it. No stranger to hard work or to overcoming almost impossible obstacles, Lincoln enables audiences to experience the depth of his heart as well as his quick mind and unflappable spirit.

Bob Gleason feels a strong personal connection to Lincoln because one of his relatives met the Great Man several times and another relation was babysat by a woman whose hand had been shaken by the President. Mr. Gleason’s library of over 200 books on Lincoln reflects his commitment to doing justice to his portrayal. Bob’s voice and his laugh add authenticity to his Lincoln performance. And the down-to-earth humor the two men share (“He’s not totally dishonest, he probably wouldn’t steal a red-hot stove”) creates a believable, approachable Lincoln.

Lincoln, and Gleason, communicate important Life Lessons: Recognize that even if life isn’t so “swell,” you can still help other people and be useful; inspire by example; be honest, even if you’re a lawyer; rise above poverty and achieve; and if you don’t have what you need, invent it (Lincoln created a device to raise flat boats).

Bob Gleason’s Abraham Lincoln is perfect for events with lawyers, inventors, scientists, or students. Lincoln would be perfect for programming or events related to the Bicentennial of the Civil War, 2011-2015. Invite Abraham Lincoln to your event:

• Keynote Speaker: Leadership, Teambuilding, Negotiation • Educational Programs: Program with a Press Conference for Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites • Parties: Meet & Greet, Mix & Mingle, Propose Toasts, Pose for Photo Ops • Plays: Original works created and produced by AHT – My Dear Mrs. Lincoln with Mary Todd Lincoln, a 50-minute play plus Q&A • Pair with Mary Todd Lincoln, Edgar Allan Poe (born in the same year as AL), Patrick Henry, or other Civil War Era characters

• Bob Gleason: Bio of Actor/Historian

Mary Todd Lincoln PORTRAYED BY PAT JORDAN

Despite portraying a woman reviled in history, Pat Jordan’s sensitive interpretation of Mary Todd Lincoln invites new understanding of this complicated and frequently-misunderstood woman. Pat’s MTL is an intelligent, quick-witted woman in an almost impossible situation. Having married the man of her dreams, a man she knew was destined to become President, Mary Todd Lincoln was deemed a spy by the North and a traitor by the South. With relatives on both sides of the conflict, having lost a dear son, and being married to a man frequently depressed by death and destruction, MTL was under great emotional stress. She strove to love and support her husband even when he withdrew from her and from the world. She battled to create a White House that reflected her husband’s stature, in a home whose position was right on the country’s N/S border. And she endeavored to nurture her family during this time of civil war.

Ms. Jordan is a natural choice for Mary Todd Lincoln. Pat’s light hair, blue eyes, intelligence and lively sense of humor allow her easy access to this complex woman. Both women appreciate beautiful fabrics, delight in fashionable clothing and enjoy travel. Each loves children, inspiring by their own example.

Invite Mary Todd Lincoln to events concerning literacy, mental health, First Ladies, Civil War:

• Educational Programs: Programs for Schools, Libraries, Museums, Historical Sites Educational Program: Schools, Libraries, Museums and Historic Sites • Plays: My Dear Mrs. Lincoln, 45-minute play, plus Q & A Press Conference • Pair with Abraham Lincoln, Dolley Madison, Abigail Adams, Eleanor Roosevelt • Pat Jordan: Bio of Actor/Historian, Reenactor

Annie Oakley PORTRAYED BY KIM HANLEY

Annie Oakley, born Phoebe Ann Mosey, was probably the most famous woman of her day. With photographs and posters everywhere, she and professional partner Buffalo Bill Cody may have been the first international superstars. The diminutive sharpshooter and exhibition shooter, who made her own costume, competed in a sport and in a world dominated by men. The no-holds-barred performer learned to shoot from practical necessity, hunting to feed her parents and siblings. Growing up poor, overcoming a difficult and even abusive childhood, she just did what she needed to do to survive and to keep her family going.

She fought for safe working conditions, fair and equal pay for a days work regardless of gender or heritage, and for a first-rate show that presented good solid family entertainment. International fame and success came with a price. Later in life she had to fight to maintain the honor of her name. Yet she steadfastly supported the country in times of war, and put many young girls through school at her own expense. Believing that women were just as capable as men, she firmly insisted that they should strive to achieve any goal or occupation that interested them. Her motto was to “Aim for a high mark…for practice will make you perfect.” and her hope was that all women would reach the “Bulls-eye of Success.”

Kim Hanley clears up any and all Annie Get Your Gun misconceptions. Ms. Hanley is passionate about Oakley, eager to share Annie’s inspiring life story, a life much more interesting than the myths that have grown up around her. Like Oakley, Hanley has created her own costume, can ride and shoot and has done some archery. And like Oakley, Hanley is committed to her family, to education, and to philanthropic causes. Audience members learn from experience that perseverance overcomes obstacles. Volunteers toss red bean bags into a basket, first with their dominant hand and then with their other hand, then over their shoulder, then when the basket is moving. Their skills improve with practice and they learn they will continue to succeed even as the difficulty of their task increases.  Ms. Hanley’s Annie Oakley is a perservering dynamo whose spirit is contagious.

Sitting Bull’s Great Grandson by Ernie LaPointe

Throughout history, the name “Sitting Bull” stands out. But Ernie LaPointe lets his audience know that this is a created name and that his great grandfather’s true name, Tatanka Iyotake, is actually Buffalo Bull Who Sits Down. In his presentations, Mr. LaPointe introduces himself and traces his connection to the famous, but incorrectly remembered, Lakota (“Allied to All Living Things”) leader and medicine man. Then Mr. LaPointe, answers audience questions about ceremonies whose meaning and protocol he continues to perform and perpetuate. And he shares stories and cultural values passed down to him from his mother, a medicine woman. For example, in the Lakota language, there is no word for freedom because it is already here. And there is no word for goodbye.

The Lakota culture is learned through storytelling, being shown by example, and by looking and listening to the elders. Raised in the 1950’s, when it was against the law to burn sage or sweet grass or even sing sacred songs, the culture went underground. In 1992, when Ernie LaPointe was told it was time to speak, he “came out of the shadows” to talk about his ancestors and his culture. Since then Mr. LaPointe’s presentations have been standing-room-only, including his lecture series in Germany and Finland, speaking to anthropologists and professors at Toledo University, addressing Native American groups at the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame, and appearing for the Smithsonian Associates in Liberty, New York: “Yours is the only presentation to receive a standing ovation from college professors and high school history teachers. You really educated the educators about Lakota culture.” Wally Mertes.

Audiences are hungry to understand how the Lakota Nation survived atrocities, how they once lived and continue to co-exist with Mother Earth, with the Creator’s Creations. Sitting Bull / Buffalo Bull Who Sits Down advised, ”Let us put our minds together and see what we can do for the children.” Ernie LaPointe counsels, “We need to work together. Not with violence, but with negotiations and with the Truth that we speak, the Truth that we know…My own ceremonial connections tell me that Mother Earth is a Mother who cares for her children very much. And she’s not going to harm them, but her children are harming her…for some pieces of paper with pictures of dead presidents on them.”

Sojourner Truth Portrayed by Daisy Century

Born Isabella Baumfree, the slave from a small town north of New York City changed hands several times, sold by one brutal owner to another just as harsh. Her life included repeated beatings, rapes and a forced marriage. In 1826, having been promised freedom, but then cruelly denied emancipation, she left her current owners and found her way to the Van Wageners’ home. There she had an epiphany, became a devout Christian, and renamed herself Sojourner Truth, after which she began her travels as a preacher. In 1850, Sojourner began speaking on women’s suffrage, believing the causes of abolition and women’s rights to be intertwined and equally important. Ms. Truth’s most quoted speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” was delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio. Although there has been much dispute about the words she spoke and the rhythm of her speech, there is no debate about the power and integrity of the speaker or about the impact of the speech and the speaker’s life. Truth also helped recruit black troops during the Civil War for the Union Army, and she worked as a Union nurse.

Dr. Daisy Century and Ms. Sojourner Truth are both powerful singers and very intelligent women, whether self-taught or academically trained. Almost as impressively tall as the woman she portrays, Century gives a commanding performance of Ms. Truth, bringing to life a woman undeterred by incredible obstacles, a woman who mixed with the leading figures of her day, including Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. Audience members are urged to consider the twin goals of racial and gender parity of equal importance. We are inspired by Ms. Truth’s fiery wit, as exemplified by her rejoinder to a comment that since she smoked a pipe (at one time), her conduct did not reflect cleanliness being next to godliness. Said Sojourner, “When I die, I expect to leave my breath behind.” The audience has the opportunity to sign Sojourner Truth’s Book of Life, signifying their connection to Ms. Truth’s legacy.

“Your passion and dedication brought Sojourner to life. The audience enjoyed your performance very much and they made sure to tell us what a wonderful program it was.”N.D., Ocean County Library, Point Pleasant Branch

“Yours was a brilliant depiction of the life of those living in slavery. You made it so real to us. I want to pass along to you…some of the words of praise…extraordinary, flawless, a born actress, so very lovely, a riveting performance.” -- C.B., Heath Village Women’s Association

American Historical Theatre presents Sojourner Truth who began speaking out for women's suffrage in 1850. Believing the causes of abolition and women's rights to be intertwined and equally important. Ms. Truth's most quoted speech, "Ain't I a Woman?" was delivered at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

Harriet Tubman PORTRAYED BY DAISY CENTURY

Born Araminta Ross, Harriet Tubman lived as a slave on a Maryland plantation. Frequently threatened, beaten, whipped, and starved, Ms. Tubman’s indomitable spirit could not be broken. Suffering from a head wound incurred when a furious overseer aimed a two-pound weight at another slave, but missed, Harriet Tubman suffered from seizures for the rest of her life. But even this daunting physical obstacle could not keep her from her freeing herself and freeing others from slavery. A Union spy during the Civil War as well as a nurse, Ms. Tubman directed her consider energies towards humanitarian causes that included women’s suffrage after the war.

Dr. Daisy Century considers Harriet Tubman her role model, someone who encouraged her to put others first and to lead by example. Like her inspiration, Daisy grew up on a farm, has a wonderful singing voice and is a determined woman of conviction: once they start a project, they must see it through to completion.  Harriet Tubman reveals a woman who made up her mind as a young girl that things could be better than they were, “I had reasoned this out in my mind. There was one of two things I had a right to – liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other.”  Tubman shows us a woman who found freedom for herself and then made sure others were brought to freedom.  The brave woman who rescued more than seventy slaves using the Underground Railroad declared, “I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Harriet Tubman takes each and every audience member along for this ride.

Soldier PORTRAYED BY WILLIAM MCILHENNY

When the Revolutionary War began, there were no trained soldiers and there was no military class in the colonies. Rank-and-file soldiers came from humble backgrounds that included farmers, tradesmen and business owners, prepared to take up arms to protect their land, their livelihood, their liberty. These soldiers trained themselves for most of the war, showing courage and commitment to the Cause. Later, there was more training, but the perils of war were just as punishing.

Choose from:

• Aide-de-camp to General Howe, British Army, Revolutionary War • Participate in a muster or raise the colors led by Sargeant Mad Dog Inglesby, Colonial Army, Revolutionary War • Cavalryman, as wedding coachman, Colonial Army, Revolutionary War • Able-bodied seaman, Colonial “Navy,” Revolutionary War • Soldier, Union Army, Civil War • Enjoy an exciting, entertaining welcome on your cruise stop in Philadelphia.