History on the Hoof

B. David Emerson
Stacy F. Roth
Burlington, NJ
(Burlington County)

Two veteran historical interpreters bring an authentic and entertaining touch to your classroom, library, special event, or club meeting. A History on the Hoof program engages audiences with a mix of formats, including storytelling, intensively researched character-portrayals, demonstrations, and songs.


David Emerson's lifelong career as a living history interpreter includes Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation, Morristown National Historical Park, and The Old Barracks Museum, where he has played a range of characters. He is also one of the premier George Washington interpreters in New Jersey. As "The Shannachie of Glendunbunn Ballybegg", David tells Irish stories "to warm or chill the heart." In "The Tall Tales of Davy Crockett and Lies of the Mountain Men", he lets loose with some far-fetched western whoppers. He introduces audiences to the tales of Mocha Dick and other seafaring adventures in "Greasy Luck: Stories of a New England Whalerman". The voyage of the Mayflower is always fresh in his memory as Pilgrim Stephen Hopkins in "Stranger among Saints".

Flora Roth is known internationally for her book on historical character portrayal, Past Into Present: Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpretation (University of North Carolina Press, 1998). She has charmed audiences at hundreds of libraries, historical societies, and women's clubs with her multi-faceted anecdotal lecture-demonstration "Totally Tea: An 18th Century Tea Experience". In "Over Here Molly Pitcher: Stories of a Woman of the Army in the American Revolution", she relates tales of a camp follower on the march, enduring encampments, and in the heat of battle. "The Distaff Muse" blends readings, songs, and anecdotes relating to Colonial women. Ms. Roth's newest program, "Soldiers Without Guns: Women Defense Workers of WWII," combines first-person storytelling, homefront objects, and a family story-sharing session with the audience.

There are two types of comments we hear most from our clients. Concerning our roleplayed characters, audience members often exclaim that they feel they are "actually speaking with a person from the past." Secondly, they enjoy our use of humor, which is as dry as a good martini.

We are proud that selected History on the Hoof programs are offered through the New Jersey Council for the Humanities' Horizons Speakers Bureau, which makes them very affordable for not-for-profit organizations.

Member since: 1/05