Historical Characters and Speakers

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.


Tulsa-based “edutainer” Stephen Smith portrays Benjamin Franklin. Phone (918) 289-1776, email historyalive@cox.net.

Colonial Day at the Capitol coordinator and teacher Teresa Potter of Oklahoma City portrays Penelope Barker, a patriot woman who protested unfair British tea taxes by hosting the Edenton Tea Party. Phone (405) 317-5212; email tea.pot@att.net.

Janet Bass, elementary library media specialist at Oklahoma Christian School, portrays Wyn Mabie, an accidental secret agent for General George Washington during the Revolutionary War. She will share details of her mission to retrieve his important papers from the captured Fort Washington. Email her at  jbass@ocssaints.org.

The Oklahoma History Center provides a variety of presenters through its History Alive! Outreach Program, including a Revolutionary War soldier and Colonial Dance lessons. Email education@okhistory.org for details.

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

Brooke Potter, a young Oklahoma actress, portrays Patsy Jefferson, the eldest daughter of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, and other revolutionary characters. For information, contact Brooke at (405) 434-5150.

Bring History To Your School

Stephen Smith, a Tulsa-based historical interpreter, portrays Benjamin Franklin for numerous Oklahoma schools and community events. 


Sheila Arnold of History’s Alive in Virginia portrays such enslaved individuals from the Colonial period as Ol’ Bess and Oney Judge, who was the servant to Martha Washington. Phone (757) 725-1398; email sheilaarnold39@aol.com.

Darci Tucker, who many Oklahoma teachers may remember from the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, portrays a variety of Revolutionary Women and offers both live and online student and teacher workshops through her company American Lives: History Brought to Life  For information, phone 757-719-0523 or email 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. Phone (410) 544-6149, email 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. Email 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. Her newest book is titled Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Phone (501) 835-5843 or visit www.carlamcclafferty.com.