Historical Characters and Speakers

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
   
Colonial American History Education

Historical Characters and Speakers

Among the highlights of Colonial Day at the Capitol have been presentations by historical character interpreters who portray famous and ordinary people from the 18th century. Below is a list of historical character interpreters and other educators who may be able to assist at your Colonial Day event.

You may also consider getting local volunteers, such as community theater actors, Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames volunteers, history professors/students, or other local history enthusiasts to portray a historical character for your event.

IN-STATE RESOURCES

Steven Smith of History Alive Educational Programs in Tulsa portrays Benjamin Franklin. Phone (918) 493-2333, e-mail historyalive@cox.net.

Jan McClaren is the George Washington Ambassador to Oklahoma for George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. She provides free programs on George Washington for educators and students. Phone (918) 277-4402, e-mail jmcclaren@mountvernon.org.

Teresa Potter of Fisher Elementary School in Moore portrays Penelope Barker, a patriot woman who protested unfair British tea taxes by hosting the Edenton Tea Party. Phone (405) 703-1660; e-mail teresapotter@mooreschools.org.

Jason Harris of the Oklahoma History Center portrays a militia soldier from the American Revolutionary War. Phone (405) 522-0785, e-mail education@okhistory.org.

High school actors Brooke Potter and Robyn Wheelock together portray young patriot women Sybil Ludington and Temperance Wick in a short play titled “Tea Time Tales.” For information, contact Teresa Potter at (405) 703-1660 or Brenda Wheelock at (405) 620-1305 or e-mail bwheelock@ofe.org.

Sheri Admire of Soldier Creek Elementary in Midwest City portrays Jamestown resident Temperance Flowerdew, who survived a harrowing journey to the new world and arrived in Jamestown in 1609, just before the winter famine. Phone (405) 281-6163, e-mail sadmire@mid-del.k12.ok.us.

Richard Woolery of Sapulpa portrays founding father John Adams. Phone (918) 227-4080; e-mail richard.woolery@oscn.net.

Dr. Gary M. Gray of MrPresidents.com portrays a variety of American presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Phone (800) 821-9595, e-mail ggray@mrpresidents.com.

Paul Vickery of Tulsa portrays Francis Asbury, one of the first bishops of the Methodist Church in the United States. Phone (918) 446-0818, e-mail pvickery1@cox.net.

UCO Political Science professor Shari Carney of Edmond portrays numerous women in history, including Sacagawea, the Native American guide on the Lewis and Clark expedition. Phone Shari at (405) 475-2915 or e-mail karamojan@aol.com.

Dr. Francine Ringold of Tulsa, former poet laureate of Oklahoma, portrays Revolutionary activist and playwright Mercy Otis Warren. Phone (918) 745-9234, e-mail ringoldfl@cox.net. Ringold is available in the Tulsa area only.

OUT-OF-STATE RESOURCES

Sheila Arnold of History Alive in Virginia portrays such figures as colonial period slaves Ol’ Bess and Oney Judge, who was the servant to Martha Washington. Phone (757) 850-1178; e-mail sheilaarnold39@aol.com.

Darci Tucker, who many Oklahoma teachers may remember for the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, portrays a variety of Revolutionary Women and offers student and teacher workshops through her company American Lives: History Brought to Life. For information, phone 757-565-4892 or e-mail darci@americanlives.net.

Through their Colonial Music Institute, David and Ginger Hildebrand present concerts and educational programs throughout the United States for students as well as museums and historical societies. They appear frequently at Colonial Williamsburg and Mount Vernon. For information, call (410) 544-6149 or e-mail info@colonialmusic.org.

Historical cricket expert Tom Melville provides presentations about the history of cricket in the United States and teaches students how to play the game, just as it was played in the 18th century. E-mail tom_melville@hotmail.com.

Carla Killough McClafferty, Arkansas speaker and author of “The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon” is available for presentations at schools, professional development workshops, teacher and media specialist conferences, and civic organizations. For more information, visit www.carlamcclafferty.com or contact Carla at (501) 835-5843; email c.mcclafferty@comcast.net.