History Alive! character Mark Twain

History Alive!

Providing a passport through time for audiences of all ages

The History Alive! program features scholars from around the state who portray historical figures at venues including museums, schools, libraries, community centers, and fairs and festivals.


From Eleanor Roosevelt and Benjamin Franklin to Minnie Pearl and Julia Child, these living history performances provide a passport through time for student and adult audiences throughout the Mountain State.


The West Virginia Humanities Council History Alive program presents a roster of historical figures available for first-person portrayals. There are fifteen History Alive! characters. They are available for a $125 booking fee to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations across West Virginia. Event planners may want to book a presentation for a corporate or organizational event. Accepted methods of payment are: Visa, MasterCard, Discover; Purchase Orders; or checks made out to WVHC-History Alive.


Call program officer Mark Payne at 304.346.8500 or email payne@wvhumanities.org for more information.


Each History Alive! presentation has three parts:


Monologue: Character introduces the historical, social, and political issues that influenced their life. (15 – 25 minutes)


Discussion with the Character: Character initiates a discussion with the audience, allowing an opportunity for questions. (10 – 15 minutes)


Discussion with the Presenter: Presenter “breaks character” to answer questions and continue the discussion as a researcher rather than as the historical character. (5 – 10 minutes)


How to book a History Alive! presentation


  1. Interested group contacts the presenter of the character they want to host for a program. View the roster and select a performer to contact.
  2. Host group and presenter agree on a date and time for the program.
  3. Host group completes and submits to the Humanities Council a Booking Request Form along with the $125 booking fee for each program.
  4. The Booking Request Form must be received by the Humanities Council at least two weeks before the date of the program. Earlier application is advised to insure the availability of the desired History Alive! character and to allow adequate time to promote the event.
  5. Humanities Council sends an email confirmation to the host group and presenter that the booking request has been approved and provides publicity material.


History Alive! Booking Request Form

Complete this form and return with $125 booking fee for each program at least two weeks before the program date to:

West Virginia Humanities Council – History Alive

1310 Kanawha Blvd. East – Charleston, WV 25301 or payne@wvhumanities.org


Teachers: As you and your students prepare to host a History Alive! presentation, view the suggested classroom activities in your teacher’s materials. Please use the evaluation form to let us know how it went.


Presenters: There is an evaluation form and a monthly log form for your use in the presenter’s packet.


Host Group: There is a History Alive! host evaluation form included in your host packet.



2015 History Alive! roster

Julia Child
Martin Delany
Benjamin Franklin
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
Ward Hill Lamon
Mary Lincoln
Minnie Pearl
Eleanor Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
David Hunter Strother
Harriet Tubman
Mark Twain

Read about the characters »

Book a History Alive! Performer

Download the booking request form and return with the $125 fee.

Request Form »

Download our Host Packet

The Host Packet forms help guide and evaluate your History Alive! program.

Download the packet »

Bring History Alive! to the Classroom

Teachers can prepare for a presentation with our teacher’s materials and use the evaluation form to let us know how it went.

Presenters Packet

Use the evaluation form and the monthly log form to keep track of presentations, and create a great experience for everyone involved.