A Sample of AHT Programs

A Sample of AHT Programs

The American Historical Theatre (AHT) has presented many wonderful programs since its inception.  The following are brief samplings of past programs that may inspire you with ideas that can be interpreted into a special program for your organization.

A Sample of AHT ProgramsA&E/The History Channel

“Just Ask George” One-hour live broadcast; “The Crossing” with Jeff Daniels, national promotional tour; “Mr. Dreyfus Goes To Washington” with Richard Dreyfus.

Colonial Williamsburg

“George Washington: Man & Myth” Full-length feature.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The American Historical Theatre produced a special program for HSP to enhance their permanent exhibit.  We created twenty-one generic characters by combining the personal attributes and exploits of actual people from Pennsylvania history. We wrote original scripts, provided casting and training for actors, scheduled the performances, created historically accurate costuming, and supervised the performance run.

Smithsonian Institution: Museum of American History

AHT was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC to develop a performance piece about Alice Paul, early 20th century suffragist and writer of the Equal Rights Amendment. This performance has since been presented to more than fifty organizations, including the Alice Paul Institute.

Volunteers of America

AHT was called upon to re-create Maud and Ballington Booth and other officers of the Volunteers of America for the centennial celebration of the organization, presented at The Academy of Music in Philadelphia and Cooper Union in New York City.

50-State Bicentennial Bill of Rights Tour

A massive 50-state tour was staged to honor the Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights.  AHT developed an eighteenth century program featuring fifteen of the signers of the Constitution to interpret this magnificent traveling exhibit which included an actual copy of the Bill of Rights!

Journey To the Presidency – Commission for the US Constitution

The Celebration of Washington’s Journey to the Presidency from Mount Vernon to New York City featured William Sommerfield as George Washington.  The tour, developed by former U.S. Chief Justice Warren Berger,  was restaged in its entirety, stopping in all of the towns on Washington’s original journey.  Over forty individual events were celebrated, culminating in a re-enactment of the first inauguration in front of 32,000 guests, including then President George Bush.

The Time Travelers: Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation

For eight years AHT produced a program featuring many of the most colorful figures in American history to interact with tourists and residents in the nation’s capital.  The program featured both scripted performances and spontaneous meet and greet interaction. These wandering historical characters, all of whom had visited the Federal City, were known as the Time Travelers. George Washington, Abraham and Robert Todd Lincoln, Alice Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Benjamin Banneker, Dolley Madison, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain and the Town Cryer.

The Tryal of George Washington

Franklin and Jefferson journeyed to London, England as witnesses at George Washington’s mock “tryal” for treason in a four hour marathon subsequently edited by the BBC into a one-hour television docudrama. The trial, at historic Lincolns Inn, featured well-known judges and lawyers from both sides of the Atlantic. The three AHT interpreters were prepared for the trial by six distinguished U.S. lawyers, but had no written script.  This BBC feature has been shown in England and in America on PBS.  The Tryal of George Washington was followed and reported back to the United States each day by a traveling correspondent from ABC Nightly News.

The Constitutional Experience

This special nine-week summer series, was originally presented at historic Headhouse Square, Philadelphia. A second summer season at the Philadelphia Bourse Building was sponsored by the National Constitution Center.  Three programs a day were performed for visitors to the historic district.  This groundbreaking series was authored, produced, and directed by The American Historical Theatre.

The Real Benjamin Franklin (Discovery Channel)

The Real Benjamin Franklin was produced by Argentine Productions for the Discovery Channel.  The American Historical Theatre provided casting and costuming.  This film is currently shown by the National Park Service at Franklin’s Museum between Pine & Market Street..

US Airways Inaugural Flight from Philadelphia to Paris, France

The American Historical Theatre sent historical interpreters to Paris in 1991.  Dr. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were both former Ambassadors to France.  AHT and US Airways teamed up to bring these American statesmen back to Paris where they interacted with French officials, once again acting as Ambassadors for our great nation.

The Royal Pickwickians: Victorian Music Hall

A resident unit of The American Historical Theatre, The Royal Pickwickians, present an annual Victorian Music Hall reminiscent of the Golden Age.  These 19th century evenings in glamorous costume feature endless laughs, naughty ballads and plenty of opportunities for the audience to heckle the Chairman and sing along.

Yankee Doodle Puppet Show

In order to provide educational entertainment for all ages, in 1997 AHT developed a puppet show  based on the old Punch and Judy pattern.  Yankee Doodle battles King George III of England in the War for Independence.  This 20-minute show, that appeals as much to babes in arms as to their grandparents, has been performed for three summers outdoors at Independence National Park, at the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth’s Alley, the Baltimore Book Festival, Morgan Log House, and other historic sites.

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Why Learn History?

living-historyHistory is an important aspect of life. You can learn a lot from history. That is why learning the past is necessary so new generation will not only know what happened in the past, but they can also use this knowledge to make better decisions in the future. When it comes to learning history, one of the most effective ways to teach people about certain events in history is through theatre program.

Learning history is not that fun especially for the young ones if the method of teaching is not that effective. Some kids or even adults find history boring because it is not that fun to listen about specific dates, places, and names of persons. That is why people also tend to easily forget these kinds of details in history, mainly because they didn’t find it interesting enough when they learned about these events.

To make learning history more fun and interesting for everyone, especially the younger generations, a lot of new methods have been developed. Use of multimedia is one of the most common and effective ways to make learning history more fun. History teachers nowadays use interactive contents and videos to teach students about history.

Historical tours are also becoming a great way to learn about history in a fun way. In school, historical tours are also being conducted so kids will not only learn about history but they can also visit important sites and learn about the places and things that are part of history. You can visit historical sites, museums, memorials and other places dedicated for historical preservations and tours.

Another very fun and interactive way to learn history is by historical theater programs. People will find it more interesting to learn about history if events are being acted in front of them like the whole thing is 20150254dc2d025a4b7happening that very moment in front of their eyes. Live historical performances are definitely more interesting especially for people who do not find it interesting to simply read history from historical books.

The American Historical Theatre

American Historical Theatre is an organization established to provide audience fun, entertaining, and educational historical interpretations of various events as well as impersonations of historical figures. The team is composed of actors and actresses who are not just professional in terms of performing but they are also historians who have in-depth knowledge about the events they are performing or the persons they are portraying. Through their expertise in history and theater performances, they can make programs like conventions and seminars more fascinating and educational for everyone.

This organization also offers workshops and conferences for historical programs. The organization conducts historical demonstrations in various places like museums, townships, and even in classrooms. They can be invited in various events like parades upon request. They can conduct historical theater shows for specific audience or age level.

So why is learning about history important?

First, knowing history is like knowing the experience of people in that certain time and place. By knowing their experience, you will know and understand why things happened, how it happened, and hopefully, tumblr_inline_nomq7bVywG1qfdt46_500learn from these experiences.

Second, history can help people improve. Be it individual or as a whole nation, we all know that most people can learn from history. Now we know what can happen during plague, during wars, and other dark historical events that caused the most depressing moments in human history. That is why people now strive to learn more about diseases and discover cures of new diseases, and more people want to avoid wars as much as possible. That is what history teaches us.

And lastly, history provides identity. You’ll never know who you truly are if you do not know where you came from.