Living history is a style of instructive and entertaining performance that seeks to bring history to life with the use of costumes, tools, and reenactments appropriate to a specific time period. Done well, living history performances illuminate human experience in powerful, unforgettable ways.
The fifteen living history plays in this collection were commissioned by museums and historic sites in Texas to show the interdependence of African American experiences and contributions to the living history of Texas. The plays cover subject matter ranging from slave celebrations, family breakups, and running away, to the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction. Each play is research based and performed by Talking Back Living History Theatre as a festival production. These scripts are easily performed, and author Naomi Mitchell Carrier has included production notes in the overviews that precede each play. Lesson plans are also included, which add to the collection's appeal as a classroom tool.
Carrier's talent for bringing historical figures to life is exceptional. The names of most primary characters in these plays are real. By giving them faces, feelings, intelligence, and dignity, Carrier aims to give them new life.