Educational Programs

American Lives™ programs are appropriate for audiences of all ages.  They are designed to support the Common Core and National Standards for student audiences, but are equally popular with adults.  She offers characters from throughout American history, traditional storytelling, artifact analysis, 18th century dance lessons and more.  

Revolutionary Women™  (4th Grade to Adult): Darci’s most popular program, this one-woman, three-character interactive play explores the issues and events that led to the American Revolution. Students examine women’s rights and roles in colonial America, and their contributions to Revolutionary War effort.  The program highlights the importance of active citizenship. Audience members meet and converse with three women:

  • Jane Walker, one of thousands of wives who accompanied the army doing support work (fictitious composite character)
  • Elizabeth Thompson, a loyalist spy (actual person)
  • Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man, enlisted and fought for 1.5 years before she was discovered (actual person)

Revolutionary Women™ can be booked as a half-day or whole-day program, and the whole-day program can include the opportunity for students to model 18th-century-style clothing.

CLICK HERE to see a clip from Revolutionary Women.    CLICK HERE to read about the program in a California newspaper.    CLICK HERE to hear a Colonial Williamsburg podcast about the program (please note that although the podcast refers to performances at Colonial Williamsburg, this program is the property of American Lives: History Brought to Life™ and can only be booked through American Lives).

Beth Howards pic of me 1

Elizabeth Thompson of
“Revolutionary Women”
by Beth Howard

“I would pay money to see this! (I don’t have to, but I would.) Seriously, y’all…see Darci’s Revolutionary Women.  It’s amazing!”   Andy Offutt Irwin, nationally acclaimed storyteller and humorist

“I liked the story you told us about James and how he was a double agent.  It was so cool!  I will never forget that story.  NEVER!  I also think it was cool that you played 3 different people.  You should be on different movies.  You are a very good actor.”  Rahul, 5th Grader, North Hollywood, CA

“I loved all the cool stuff you taught us yesterday. I listened and stared at you the whole way through. I didn’t miss a single word or take a single eye off you either (until you went behind the curtains and music started, and when it did, I thought about what I just saw instead of talking to friends).”     Charles, 5th Grader, Charles Hoffman Elementary School, Running Springs, CA

“I hate to admit it, but that was really kind of awesome.”   Josh, 8th grader, Ezel-Harding Christian School, Nashville, TN

Character Interpretations (4th Grade to Adult):  Meet a person from America’s past. Characters can appear individually or in groups.  If you don’t see the one you need, email Darci at darci@americanlives.net.

    • 1750s:  Elizabeth Spriggs, indentured servant
    • 1760s:  John Clayton, internationally known colonial botanist
    • 1760s:  Eliza Lucas Pinckney, who, as a teenager, established indigo production in South Carolina
    • 1770s:  The three women described above in Revolutionary Women can appear individually for more in-depth discussions
    • 177os:  Will Springate, gardener and convict servant
    • 1770s:  John Farquarson, gardener to Virginia’s last Royal Governor
    • 1770s:  Frances Tasker Carter, wife of a member of the Governor’s Council
    • 1811:     Ann Hill, wife of a merchant-sailor who was “pressed” into the British Navy
    • 1863:    Cornelia McDonald, refugee wife of a Confederate officer
    • 1863:    Laura Miller, Union sympathizer in Missouri during Civil War
    • 1860-1870s:  Alice Grierson, whose husband was a Union Cavalry hero, and commanded the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in Oklahoma and Texas after the war.
    • 1880s:   Frances Roe, wife of an Army officer in Montana
    • 1928:     Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer  CLICK HERE to see part of an interview with Miss Earhart.

“You have an incredible presence on stage, both as teacher and storyteller. I found your history lesson before the show enjoyable and informative, and loved how you involved (and handled) the children. Your piece is so well written, and your performance of it so skillfull. I was amazed at how rapt you held all of us, kids and adults alike.”     Antonio Sacre, storyteller, solo performer, author

Teddy in costume 1

Dress for Success (4th Grade to Adult):  Participants examine 18th century fashion, fabrics and trendsetters, and participate in afashion show of 18th century styles. 

Shall We Dance? (4th Grade to Adult):  Explore colonial Virginians’ passion for dancing and learn the importance of music, dance and deportment skills in 18th century Virginia.  By comparing European and African music and dance, discover traces of both in today’s culture.

“Darci is engaging, informative and tremendous fun!”  Lisa Scruggs, Tea Consultant and Artisan, owner of Infuse Me!LLC

Now and Then (Grades K-3): Aimed at very young students, this program compares the 18th century world with the present. Young students handle artifacts of both eras and draw their own conclusions about how life has changed.

“You’re an awesome presenter and know exactly how to keep the attention of those kids… I was impressed!!”    Paula Bodor, parent

That’s My Story (Grades K to Adult): Listen, spellbound.  Let your imagination roam.  Darci can tailor programs to your needs, whether you need to meet Common Core Standards or just want to relax and laugh.  She tells Shakespeare stories, fairy tales, folk tales from many cultures, personal stories about growing up, ghost stories and more.

“The children and adults were thoroughly engaged, entertained, inspired [by your storytelling program]…”  Liz Ratcliffe, parent

 

American Lives: History Brought to Life™
P.O. Box 1857
Williamsburg, VA 23187
757-719-0523
darci@americanlives.net

 

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