Council seeks History Alive! interpretors

CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Humanities Council is seeking applications from those interested in portraying historical figures in the History Alive! program.

Portrayals of historically significant people no longer living, from any period of history, are eligible for consideration. Proposals are sought for portrayals of influential people from all walks of life 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, athletes, scientists, industrialists and labor leaders.

The roster of characters currently includes 14 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 approximately 200 History Alive! presentations are given at schools, libraries, civic groups, museums, parks, historical societies and public gatherings across West Virginia.

The application deadline is Feb. 1. Applicants who submit selected proposals receive a stipend to support research to develop the proposed character. 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 Nov. 1, 2014, for a minimum two-year period.

Those interested in applying should contact Program Officer Mark Payne at (304) 346-8500 or to request application materials.