December 11, 2013
By Claire Weaver
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is looking for actors to portray characters in its next Electronic Field Trip production, “Working Children.”
Electronic Field Trips are Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy-winning television broadcasts designed to bring history to life in fourth- through eighth-grade classrooms. The upcoming production will tell the stories of real working children from the past.
The scriptwriters based each character on a primary source image, such as a photograph or an etching, of a child at work in the 18th through 20th centuries.
“Some of the stories are sadder than others,” says co-producer Leslie Clark. “Some of the children are being exploited for factory labor. Others help their mothers complete piecework at home. There are also slaves.”
For each story, the scriptwriters begin with information that is known about these children, and then fill in the gaps with appropriate historical fiction. Together, the child labor stories form an anthology that is tied together by the narration of Lydia, the 12-year-old street vendor.
The filming will take place in February and March, in and around Williamsburg. Each character’s story will take one to two days to film.
The production needs African American, Hispanic and Caucasian children ages 5 to 18 or 19 years old. Those who wish to audition should call Leslie Clark at 757-565-8432 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auditions will take place Dec. 13-14 in the auditorium at Colonial Williamsburg’s Bruton Heights School offices, and will involve reading from the desired character’s script. Registration will be accepted up until auditions start, provided there are still audition spots open. All auditions require an appointment.
Claire Weaver is a Williamsburg-based writer.
Learn more about Electronic Field Trips:
December 11, 2013
With the cooler weather it is now necessary to cover the parsley at night to preserve the foliage. Parsley is a biennial plant so it is adapted to over-wintering in most parts of the country but in severe weather the leaves fall down and are not useable by the cook. This would be a great disadvantage as there are few members of that tribe of plants known as the sweet herbs which are more useful in the kitchen. Stephen Switzer observed in The practical kitchen gardiner (1727): “The cook can never be without it, there being nothing more proper for stuffing and other sauces.”
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean shores of Southern Europe and was used as both a culinary plant and a medicine by the Greeks and Romans. It was almost certainly introduced to Northern Europe and England by the Romans legions. The first reference to parsley in England came in a Latin vocabulary written by Aelfric, the Abbot of Eynsham, in 995 CE.
There are two forms of parsley, the curled and the flat (also known as Italian parsley) and there is quite a lot folklore about the method of obtaining the two leaf forms. Thomas Hill recorded in 1577 that the flat leaf is obtained by tying the seeds in a linen cloth before planting and the curled leaf is obtained by wrapping the seeds in a ball and breaking them with a staff. Surflet’s The Country Farm, a 1616 translation of the 16th century French work, Maisons Rustique, advises that in order to make parsley curl we must bruise the seed and roll it when it first comes up.
The flat leaf has always been preferred by cooks while the curled is, as recorded by Mr. Miller, “sown in some curious Gardens, for garnishing Dishes.”
To preserve the parsley through the winter months the parsley is covered under bells every evening when the temperature is liable to plunge below 30 degrees on Mr. Fahrenheit’s scale. A little straw laid among the plants will greatly assist in keeping the frost from their roots.
With this simple precaution there will be sufficient parsley for sauce and stew as well as for its most famous use, as noted by Mr. Hill, “There is nothing that doth like sweeten the mouth, as fresh and green Parcely eaten.”
December 10, 2013
Organizers of the newest “RevQuest: Save the Revolution!” game are looking for volunteer “spies” to test the latest role-playing adventure on Friday and Saturday, December 13-14.
In addition to cracking codes and evading capture, participants will look for any unclear clues or instructions to ensure future players enjoy a seamless experience when the new game officially debuts March 31, 2014. The alternate reality game is expected to run daily for most of the year.
The new mission takes place early in the war, when an American victory is far from certain. “Questors are recruited by a well-known patriot to join the Committee of Secret Correspondence, to help secure the critical alliance with France,” said Lisa Fischer, director of the Digital History Center. Ideally, players use a text-enabled mobile phone to receive clues while playing, though those who don’t have access to texting will still be able to play.
Since the launch of the first game, ‘RevQuest: Sign of the Rhinoceros” in 2011, more than 80,000 visitors to Colonial Williamsburg have taken part in aiding the Revolutionary cause.
Want to help test the new “RevQuest: Save the Revolution!” game and provide feedback on the experience? Find more information and sign up here. All testing participants will receive a complimentary, single-day Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket valid on the day that they test the game.
December 9, 2013
A little rain didn’t stop Grand Illumination from lighting up the sky on Sunday. Here are some of the tweets and photos posted Sunday by Grand Illumination fans.
— Chris Peek (@PeekChris) December 9, 2013
— Encourage Treen (@tstroope) December 9, 2013
— Amelia Donnell (@ameliadonnell) December 9, 2013
— Mary Moorefield Dene (@mmdene) December 9, 2013
— Teresa (@Teceree) December 9, 2013
Check our December to Remember calendar for a holiday treat each day.
in What's New
December 9, 2013
A new project, “The Constitution for Kids,” aims to do the same, but in a format friendly to young learners. Constitutional Sources Project Executive Director Julie Silverbrook explains how the project began, and what future voters can gain by getting familiar with their government.
December 9, 2013
Every year since the late 1930s, visitors have flocked to Colonial Williamsburg during the holidays to see the original, handmade Christmas door decorations. And so do the judges.
Official judging will take place on Monday, Dec. 9, for the annual Colonial Williamsburg door decoration contest.
“The door on the street-facing side of the house will be judged,” said Keith Johnson, director of property management. Johnson will lead the group of three judges and the photographer from house to house.
About 56 houses in the historic area will be scrutinized for six winning positions based on criteria including originality, how well the history of the building is conveyed, and the complexity of the decoration assembly. Overall balance and scale to the building also is important. There are two categories for the submissions: amateur and professional.
Strict rules do apply – the decorations must be made by hand from all-natural materials that are historically appropriate to the 18th century. Residents are not left helpless, however. Instructions and basic materials are provided, along with advice and even how-to classes. Another option for residents is to pay a professional florist to create an arrangement, or order a generic decoration and have it placed by the landscaping department.
The awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Hennage Auditorium. Following the ceremony, which the public is allowed to attend, six blue ribbons will be placed on the winners’ doors.
Find out more about holidays in Colonial Williamsburg: