Bringing historical characters to life is a vivid way to enhance people's knowledge and appreciation of America's past. Performed in the Chautauqua tradition, the scholar/actor first gives a monologue by the character. Then, the audience participates by asking questions dealing with the character's lives and period in which they lived. Finally, the performer breaks character and talks about the person portrayed in the performance. Extensive research is completed on each character and the scholar is immersed in both the characterâ€™s life and surrounding times. The result provides the audience with an engaging and entertaining glimpse into the past.
Karen and Gene have participated in a number of Chautauquas throughout the nation. Usually performed under the big tent, state Humanities councils present a week long program on a specific theme with four or five historical characters. From Oklahoma's Jazz Age Chautauqua featuring Babe Ruth to Nebraska's Homestead Chautauqua with Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gene and Karen have toured several states with this innovative style of performance. In addition, the West Virginia Humanities Council's History Alive! Program includes presentations of Karen and Gene on their roster.
"You have a real gift for merging education and entertainment in your living history portrayals. Thanks for sharing it with us during this exceptional Chautauqua week!"
Kathy Hale, President of the Altus, Oklahoma Chautauqua Committee.
For more information on a Living History performance select from the list below.
Karen Vuranch portrays:
Gene Worthington portrays: