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Humanities Council's History Alive! presenters available

January 13, 2014
Weirton Daily Times

CHARLESTON - For more than two decades, the West Virginia Humanities Council has offered the History Alive! program to schools, civic and service organizations, libraries, parks, festivals, associations and history groups across the state.

The program brings historical figures back to life through costumed first-person portrayals by presenters who have researched their character.

After a monologue is given in-character, audiences are invited to ask their own questions of the character and then the presenter.

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History Alive! programs are available for $125 per presentation.

These programs also will be available for the first time to for-profit groups and businesses looking to add a uniquely entertaining and educational component to their meetings, conferences, training sessions and other events.

History Alive! characters now available are:

Osborne Perry Anderson, an African-American member of John Brown's Harpers Ferry raiding party, portrayed by Joseph Bundy of Bluefield;

Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, portrayed by Karen Vuranch of Fayetteville;

Belle Boyd, Confederate spy, portrayed by Patty Cooper of Vienna;

Chief Cornstalk, Shawnee leader at the Battle of Point Pleasant, portrayed by Dan Cutler of Milton;

Martin Delany, abolitionist and first African-American field officer in the Union Army, portrayed by Joseph Bundy of Bluefield;

Stonewall Jackson, Confederate general, portrayed by Doug Riley of Tunnelton;

Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady during the Civil War, portrayed by JoAnn Peterson of Kingwood;

General Robert E. Lee, Confederate leader, portrayed by Al Stone of Hinton;

Ostenaco, Cherokee leader during the French and Indian War, portrayed by Doug Wood of Hurricane;

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and human rights activist, portrayed by Patty Cooper of Vienna;

Babe Ruth, baseball player, portrayed by Gene Worthington of Fayetteville;

David Hunter Strother, also known as Porte Crayon, Union officer and artist, portrayed by Don Teter of Monterville;

Harriet Tubman, Underground Railroad leader, portrayed by Ilene Evans of Thomas; and

Mark Twain, American author and humorist, portrayed by Doug Riley of Tunnelton.

Information on the History Alive! characters, booking request forms and how to schedule a presentation can be found at or by contacting Humanities Council Program Officer Mark Payne at (304) 346-8500 or

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