ACT OUT! It Doesn't Have to Happen in a Theatre

A Workshop for Actors and Educators

Have you ever wondered how to portray a character from history or literature to enliven your public programs in libraries and museums or in your classroom?

This workshop is designed for actors and educators interested in that process. Classes are scheduled in late afternoons so participants can enhance their instruction by attending free evening performances of the Ohio Chautauqua presented by the Ohio Humanities Council. The instructor is Margaret Piatt, assistant professor of theatre at Urbana University and a living history consultant.

Classes will be held on the campus of Urbana University in the Miller Center for Visual Arts from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, June 26 thru Saturday, June 30. The fee is $75.00. If the workshop is taken for continuing education credits, the cost is $325 for 12.5 contact hours. 

As a young stage director and trained high school teacher, Margaret Piatt became entranced with the style of museum education called living history. She began a thirty year career as a museum educator specializing in helping others develop plausible and interesting historical characters to enhance their programs in museums, classrooms and other public venues. For many years, she trained costume interpreters at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and developed workshops and projects nationwide utilizing theatre techniques to teach history, language arts and social studies in museums. Most recently, Piatt was the artistic director of Time Flies, a living history festival commemorating the Centennial of Flight sponsored by Carillion Historical Park and the author/director of Old Case Files, courtroom dramas held in the 1850 Court House operated by Dayton History.

Margaret is offering this workshop as part of the Ohio Chautauqua program events. Participants will discuss teaching objectives and methods of research and practice theatrical techniques for making their chosen historical characters come alive. Workshops can be enhanced by attendance to any of the Ohio Chautauqua workshops in the mornings and afternoons at sites around Champaign County and the living history performances each evening on the Urbana University campus. This workshop can be taken for one, two or three credits through Urbana University and verified for continuing education credits by the College of Education and Sports Studies.

For more information or to register for the workshop, contact Margaret Piatt by phone at 937-844-3902 or by email at


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