Personifications - the addition of realia, costumes, and other items in order to provide flavor in a first person interpretation of a real person of history or a conglomerate characters conveyed through entertaining oral storytelling.

Resources or reading:
“We created performance stories by adopting the historical storytelling approach of the third person everyman from the time period and told the stories as if the characters had been our neighbors. The challenge was to create narratives that were historically accurate, educational, meaningful, and entertaining. We also knew that there would be members of the audience who had lived here during that time and would hold us to the truth.”

Just as an actor might learn about the time, the language, the dress, and the person (or prototype character), storytellers doing personifications provide their interpretation of that type of character, interspersed with snippets of history, language, etc. Sections of actual sayings or writings of the person (or category of person) provide a charming and artful flavoring. The teller will be costumed in some manner reflecting the person or the time.


There is a more fluid sense of characterization as the Personification Teller, if acting as a tour guide, serves to bridge the past and the present. They can become their guises or simply provide flavor while they share the facts and recount the engaging stories that add sparkle to their tours. These contribute to a sense of history alive in a place and can be very effective if they have been well trained to keep the tour well paced and their comments engaging and well delivered. The difference between boring and brilliant is a simple matter of storytelling. The "beefeaters" of London Tower wear full regalia as they lead you from place to place. The choice would be to bore you to tears with facts, dates, and reigns....instead they lead you over the grounds and the Tower in story...."here is the place one cold foggy morning......"

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