View Full Version : Thoughts on entertaining reenactors

08-22-2006, 01:05 PM
My unit is in the planning stages for a reenactment. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to entertain reenactors after the spectators have gone??
No dances or teas....They seem to be all played out at events. BlueYankee

08-22-2006, 01:15 PM
One of the things that was popular at the Wauconda IL reenactment were the classes that were held on such subjects as china painting, soap making, etc.

A more cost effective suggestion might be to organize a sewing circle for the ladies to sit around and socialize while doing some form of needlework

08-22-2006, 01:44 PM
My unit is in the planning stages for a reenactment. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to entertain reenactors after the spectators have gone??
No dances or teas....They seem to be all played out at events. BlueYankee

How about Tableaus, Parlor Games, or Magic Lantern Shows?

08-22-2006, 02:40 PM
Kinda curious as to why the organizers are suddenly expected to entertain the participants at an event. :confused:

All of the suggestions thus far provided are examples of how the participants can chip in together and enjoy a fun-filled evening which hopefully meets their expectations of a period-correct good time. If you do not feel like playing, then there is always making chim music (aka "talking") around the fire.

08-22-2006, 02:45 PM
What about expecting the participants to do whatever the people they're portraying would have done at the time and place being portrayed?

Hank Trent

Faye Dufour
08-22-2006, 03:54 PM
A suggestion....sharing information with new members of the group. This is more slanted toward the ladies, but -- where to purchase period correct fabric (lists of websites with fabrics pictured), books that are helpful in putting together correct clothing Juanita Lesch's books are great!). Web sites of museums with collections of CV era clothing.

Also helpfult tips - i.e., NEVER wear new shoes to an event - bring them if you wish, but also bring in a well worn pair so you can switch. If cold weather is predicted, bring heavy blankets (I confess, I cheated by using a sleeping bag, and covered it with blankets. Where to by plates to use at events (flea markets are great-and if you break it, you are usually only out 50 cents - $1.00).

This is also a way for new ladies attending to meet others at the event. I miss the chatting around the campfires after the spectators left....I lost all my reenacting equiptment last August when Katrina hit (my house had 14 feet of water in it). Following the list because I miss my friends from other times - I also did eras from 1st century A.D. Rome to the War of 1812 as well as Civil War era. When I did a list of items lost for the insurance claim it was difficult to explain why I had a such a strange array of clothing.

Faye Dufour

08-23-2006, 10:54 AM
What about letting all the participants know of a community show--in which individual participants or small groups prepare a song, tableaux, short pantomime, dramatic recitation, etc from period sources, and present it to the community as a whole?

A dancing party (not a "ball") would be a fun evening activity for citizens, too... none of the stress of needing fine silks (everyone comes in normal day clothing), all of the fun of dancing.

And I'm with Hank: let participants continue to do whatever their historic counterparts would be doing in the evening!

Workshops are a great option for events that are not "reenactments", but rather are "history demo" events... otherwise, they interrupt the flow of the reenactment. At a living history demo-style event, there's no expectation that everyone is in a persona-zone all the time, as one can be both presenter and spectator in the space of a few minutes, so it's very easy to switch from spectator or presenter mode into student.

08-25-2006, 08:41 AM
Thank you all for your suggestions...
We are leaning towards a "social" (have everyone bring a period dessert) and have a big gab session for both sides to attend. BlueYankee

08-25-2006, 12:51 PM
Socials are a lot of fun--and dancing can be added in very easily, if musical people are so inclined.

One thing to consider: will this be a period social, where folks are encouraged to socialize in a first-person mode, or will it be a modern social evening in costume? Will the desserts be modern, or period recipes? Let the participants know what to expect!

08-27-2006, 06:14 PM
Thank you Elizabeth for the suggestions...I think it would be a great idea to try to keep a First Person impression ( lord knows there is those of us who need the practice) throughout the social..may even be fun!! Period desserts all around!!

08-27-2006, 10:10 PM
A very good subject, We are lucky enough to have a few entertianers in our company and the lads will usually play after hours all kinds of music but we like the good old Irish songs the best. We also do have a night meal prepared by our ladies and some men for all to enjoy. This is most of the time period cooking also and eating from a cast iron dutch oven is the best you can have. Alot of our ladies can cook just about anything from bread to pie, and a apple pie is a good thing again from a dutch oven. Another thing we and our ladies do is talk around the fire and get to know how things are going with each other. If I wans't a part of this particular bunch then i really don't think i would be in this, we teach each other etiquette and all things needed to do things proper. But to stop rambling and put it short have both side get together blue and gray for a meal that everyone prepares and you will see how nice it works out for everyone.