Past into Present Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpretation

ISBN-10: 0807847100

ISBN-13: 9780807847107

Edition: 1998

Authors: Stacy F. Roth

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First-person interpretationthe portrayal of historical characters through interactive dramatization or roleplayingis an effective, albeit controversial, method used to bring history to life at museums, historic sites, and other public venues. Stacy Roth examines the techniques of first-person interpretation to identify those that have been most effective with audiences while allowing interpreters to maintain historical fidelity. Past into Presentfocuses on first-person interpretation's most challenging form: the unscripted, spontaneous, conversational approach employed in "living history" environments such as Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, Conner Prairie in Indiana, and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. While acknowledging that a wide range of methods can touch audiences effectively, Roth identifies a core set of practices that combine positive communication techniques, classic interpretive philosophy, and time-tested learning theories to promote audience enjoyment, provoke thought and inquiry, convey important messages and themes, and relate to individual visitor interests. She offers numerous examples of conversation and demonstration strategies, visitor behavior profiles, and suggestions for depicting conflict and controversy, and she provides useful character development guidelines, interpretive training advice, and recommendations for adapting first-person interpretation for diverse audiences.
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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 5/25/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.12" wide x 9.25" long x 0.71" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Stacy F. Roth is codirector of History on the Hoof, a company that creates, organizes, and performs a variety of interpretive presentations on historical themes.

New Approaches to History An Overview
The Terminology of Living History And First-Person Interpretation
Goals, Benefits, and Drawbacks
Development of First-Person Interpretation
Foundations for Historical Roleplaying
Before Interpretation Starts Planning, Research, and Development
Is First-Person Interpretation Theater?
Developing a Character
Interaction across the Centuries
Communication Challenges
The Role of the Visitor
Breaking the Ice and Encouraging Interaction
The Art of Conversation
Body Language and Tone of Voice
Roleplay and Relevance Shaping Interpretation for Different Audiences
Interpreting to Adults, Families, Seniors And Foreign Visitors
Interpreting to Children
Interpreting to Audiences with Special Needs
Interpreting Special Situations Conflict, Controversy, and Heightened Emotion
The Ultimate Character Development List A Guide for the Gung-ho Interpreter
Selected Sites Featuring First-Person Interpretation
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