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New from History Alive; The Broad Pathway of the Sea Mini-Festival

History Alive to Perform The Scarlet Letter, Quest for the Rich East and Two Points Off the Weather Bow for The Broad Pathway of the Sea Mini-Festival

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There aren’t many cities in this country with as deep of a well of history as Salem Massachusetts. But how do you make that history come alive? With History Alive! The Salem based company, History Alive, is hosting a mini festival focused on Salem’s Maritime History. The Scarlet Letter, Charlotte’s Salem, Quest for the Rich East, and Two Points Off the Weather Bow are all representations of what makes the Witch City so unique, and each play will be presented at a significantly historic site around the city. On August 18th, History Alive, Inc. will kick off its 2022 season with the Mini-Festival “The Broad Pathway of the Sea”. The name of the festival is taken from Hester Prynne’s line to Arthur Dimmesdale when they met privately in the forest. “Is the world so narrow? There is still the broad pathway of the sea. It brought you here and it can bear you back again.” With themes of community at the forefront of this year’s productions, History Alive looks to engage with the audience in a memorable and inviting way.

 

Photo by History Alive 

Quest for the Rich East

The mini-festival starts on Thursday, August 18th with Quest for the Rich East, an immersive experience which combines trading and a scavenger hunt game set in Salem’s Golden Age of Sail. Teams will be organized as ships, and will race each other around the world (downtown Salem). Their journey will involve solving puzzles, trading for spices, silk, coffee, and other exotic goods in the hopes of turning the highest profit back in Salem. Teams who sign up ahead of time will be able to race around Salem in the evening. The race starts and ends at the Old Town Hall, built on the site of “King” Elias Haskett Derby’s mansion. The location is fitting of the journey that participants will go on with the relevance of Derby being the first ship owner to have traded with China.

 

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The Scarlet Letter

On Friday evening History Alive’s version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, takes place at the House of Seven Gables and, not surprisingly, is immersive. The piece walks with Nathaniel Hawthorne as he entrusts the ideas for a new novel in the hands of the audience—his intellectual comrades. Locations around the historic campus form the backdrop for his imagination as the scenes come to life before the audience’s eyes. A cast of over two dozen people of all ages from towns all over Essex County will populate the 1640’s colony created at the Gables. With Paul Riopelle, most recently of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company playing Hawthorne, the audience is in for a real treat. One of the brightest joys of producing this beautiful piece is introducing children to the riches of our region’s architecture and literature. They get to play dress up in a gorgeous authentic setting.

 

Photo by History Alive 

Two Points Off the Weather Bow

On Sunday, at 2pm The National Park Service Maritime Park will host Two Points Off the Weather Bow, written by Juice Wacker and directed by Jennifer Emerson. Two Points Off the Weather Bow invites the audience aboard an 1850’s whaling ship for a musical adventure drawn from authentic ship’s logs and historical reminiscences. Take a journey back through time to experience the thrills of maritime life and adventure. The primary sources used in the creation of this piece paint a realistic picture of what life in the 1850’s aboard a Whaling Ship truly was like.

 

Photo by History Alive 

Charlotte’s Salem

Two Points Off the Weather Bow isn’t the only immersive event taking place during Saturday’s festivities! Make sure you walk with abolitionist Charlotte Forten and hear how the sea relates to underground railroad efforts and other aspects of black culture in 1850’s Salem in Charlotte’s Salem. She will paint a picture of what her experiences were like and her life experiences as an abolitionist here in Salem.

 

Seed funding for the productions was provided by the City of Salem Festival and Special Event Support Program. The program, made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act, provides support to organizations that suffered an adverse economic impact as the result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a phase four business, History Alive had to cease operations mid-run and couldn’t perform live for the better part of two years. While the company kept actively producing in the virtual space, it keenly felt the economic sting of missing out on school group visits and live tourism for the better part of two years. “The anchor of History Alive’s work is live, interactive theater. We’re thrilled to be back with people in tangible spaces,” says Kristina Stevick, the company’s artistic director.

For tickets, registration and info, visit www.historyalivesalem.com/mini-festival

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