Since 1980, with over 4,000 performances to his credit, Kevin has brought history to life for thousands of young people and adults. In addition to hundreds of schools, libraries, and museums, he has performed for organizations as diverse as The Indiana Historical Society, The Kentucky Historical Society, Midwest Civil War Round Table, Sons of Union Veterans, Indiana State Museum, Mayflower Society, Indiana Convention of Home Educators, Ball State University, The University of Indianapolis, Northern Kentucky University, American Heritage Girls and The Feast of the Hunter's Moon. Kevin has the unique ability to connect with young and old in a captivating manner that leaves them eager to learn more.
All of the living history programs are performed in authentic period clothing with proper accouterments in first-person style. A high degree of historic authenticity has been achieved as a result of hours of research and attention to detail and dialect. The programs are not dry lectures, but both informative and entertaining.
Indiana Social Studies Teachers: Kevin's programs meet several of the Indiana Academic
Standards for Social Studies. 

 

The Programs

  A Visit With A Hoosier Pioneer

 

The Hoosier Pioneer is a character compiled from several different accounts of the period 1770-1810. The program centers around the life of Andrew Amonett, a true-to-life frontiersman of the Indiana Territory. The presentation, complete with tall tales, deals with various aspects of frontier life and dangers faced in the Indiana Territory just prior to the War of 1812. Topics include trapping, militia service, Indian affairs, tools, weapons and frontier clothing. The program is best suited for grades 3-6, but also works well with adult audiences and family groups.


 

Student and Teacher Reviews of "A Visit With a Hoosier Pioneer"


"Your acting was amazing! It seems like you've been doing this your whole life!"

Jake, Grade 4

"I was so happy you came yesterday, because at the end you put a smile on my face. I've never seen someone that great, and that's how I had a smile on my face the rest of the afternoon."

Elizabeth, Grade 4

 

"I never get tired of hearing your stories. You are such a talented storyteller and you bring to life the era that you 'step out of'."

Debby Davis, 4th Grade Teacher, Lapel Elementary School

 

"It's so nice to work with artists like you that are reliable, professional and provide excellent programs."

Anne Amrhein, Batesville Intermediate School



Billy Yank-Common Soldier For the Union

The program "Billy Yank" concerns an actual soldier from Henry County, Indiana named William H. Fentress. The presentation is set in the year 1864 with a battle-weary Fentress home on leave from the Union Army. Although the character portrayed was a real individual, much of the presentation deals with issues or items which would have been common to most northern soldiers of the Civil War. These include camp life, battlefield experiences, army humor, food, equipment, music, weapons, uniforms and the home front. The program objective is to bring the audience as close as they will ever come to visiting with a real veteran of the War Between The States and to give them a better understanding of the men who wore the blue. Appropriate for grades 4 through adult, the program is tailored to meet the needs of each specific audience.

 

 

 Student Reviews of "Billy Yank"


"When you were telling us about the tragedies of the Civil War, you actually almost made me break into tears."

Elias, 5th Grade

 

"I liked your performance because it was a real eye-opener of what that war was really like. I realized how bad that war really was and difficult it was for both sides."

Luka, 5th Grade

 

"His presentation of 'Billy Yank' was impressive. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'll give him an 11!"

Kayla, 4th Grade

 

"Most of the students would have given up recess to hear you!"

Sarah, 4th Grade

 

 

A Visit With A Fur Trader

The "Fur Trader" is a true-to-life character compiled from a variety of fur trade sources. The trader, a Scotsman named Jacob McLinden, takes the audience on a journey from Montreal to the Indian Country and through a year in the fur trade in the mid 1700's. He familiarizes them with many trade goods, fur bearing animals, voyageur life, fur trade vocabulary, music and the ways of Indians and traders. Best suited to audiences of 200 or less. Appropriate for grades 4 through adult.

 

 

 

 

                                     Photo: Sarah Middleton

 

Student Reviews of "A Visit With a Fur Trader"

 

"I loved how he put humor into his presentation. I thought he was the best speaker ever!"

Seth, 4th Grade

 

"Unlike other speakers, he stayed on topic."

Jordan, 5th Grade

 

"You, my friend, are incredible!"

Abigail, 4th Grade

 


 

 Stephen Hopkins, A Pilgrim of Plymouth

In 2006, Kevin was contracted by the Indiana Society of Mayflower Descendants to research, write and perform a first-person living history characterization of a "pilgrim" (a term which only gained wide usage many years after their arrival in New England). Hopkins was one of the original passengers who traveled to Plymouth aboard the Mayflower. Set in the late 1620's, Stonerock, as Hopkins, recounts his experiences prior to leaving England, reasons for leaving, the arduous Atlantic crossing, landing on the shores of Cape Cod, their ultimate settlement in what came to be known as Plymouth and the events that followed, including that first winter and some of their encounters with the Native peoples. The program's objective is to give the audience a truer appreciation for the obstacles that were faced and overcome and to de-bunk some of the commonly accepted myths which have come to be associated with those amazing people we know as "pilgrims".

The Mayflower Society is offering a limited number of grants each year to Indiana schools in order to partially fund this program. E-mail for more information.

As a school performance, the program is best suited for grade 5. Specifically, the program meets several of the Indiana academic standards for social studies for grade 5 (see "standards").

 

Civil War History Through Song

Designed for the classroom and smaller size groups, Civil War songs are used as a springboard into a wide variety of topics concerning the period 1861-65. The audience is drawn into discussion as well as asked to join in on some of the songs. The program is designed primarily for grades 4 through 8 and works well in combination with Billy Yank. Write for information concerning appropriate audience size and fees.

 

Student Reviews of "Civil War History Through Song"

"I have to say that my favorite part of your visit was when you explained how all the songs you sang originated. It was the most educational, interactive, and entertaining history lesson I have ever experienced!"

Caroline, 5th Grade

 

The Steamboat's A Comin'! (not available for school performances...but perfect for libraries, corporate events and the like!)

A grand adventure of story, song and first person living history about life on the Ohio River from the frontier era through the glorious age of steam, with special emphasis on the showboats. In addition to song and story, the audience will meet four rollicking river characters (portrayed by Kevin), including a keelboat man, a steamboat passenger on the J. M. White, a showboat barker from the 1890's and steamboat captain Ebenezer Cline. Appropriate for all ages, but especially suited to adult audiences. E-mail for price and availability.