Living history is bringing history to life by acting it out as if one was a person from another time rather than simply telling about it. It requires a great deal of knowledge and ability on the part of the living historian for they must know their character and their character's time period thoroughly and possess the acting talent required to convincingly portray their character and thus transport their audience back in time. Done well, living history truly makes learning fun as well as giving it more depth and relevance. Audiences learn history effortlessly and can also be taught some of the knowledge and skills of the character portrayed-- writing, for instance.
Jan's living history characterizations are like one-woman plays, using actual words and facts of the historic woman's life to make the figure come to life again. However, Jan's living history portrayals are not usually scripted, but allow for spontaneity and conversation with willing audience members. Questions and comments are always welcome. Audience members do not need to be versed in the character's life, but Jan will always remain in character and know only of her time period. (After performances, if desired, Jan is willing to "be herself" and answer questions about her research and character development.)
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