Interesting People—a monthly WTVP series
hosted by Ed Sutkowski—features
half-hour conversations of thoughtful dialogue with ordinary individuals who
have achieved extraordinary measures of success in the arts, business,
communications, education, science and sports.
"Thus, the task is
not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what
nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees."
Host Ed Sutkowski talks with Scholar, Poet, and Actress, Debra Conner.
Original Air Date(s): 6/23/2010
Scholar, Poet, Actress
Debra Conner taught college-level creative writing and poetry courses for 22 semesters before embarking on a new way to educate as a living history performer. The self-described introvert details her transition from teaching it to "living it" as she travels the country performing as historical figures to a variety of audiences.
A living history performer differs from the more commonly known reenactor in that the living history performer is a scholar who has studied all aspects of a historical figure (his or her family, political beliefs, personality, hobbies, etc.). In Debra's case, she studies figures for well over a year before introducing them into her repertoire. Debra's performance has three parts, all of which are meant to engage the audience. She begins her performance in period costume and performs a monologue in character. Next the audience has a chance to ask the historical figure questions, which Debra answers in character. Finally, the audience has the opportunity to address Debra, where she can answer questions from the perspective of a scholar.
A published author herself, Debra is drawn to portraying other writers including Margaret Mitchell, Zelda Fitzgerald, and Emily Dickinson. Of Dickinson, a reclusive figure who withdrew from the world around the age of 30 to focus on writing, Debra says, "For those of us who love to write, it sounds like a delicious way to live."
[Biographical information as provided by Mr. Sutkowski]