Why?

Historical live interpretation as an advanced and research-based way of interacting with visitors, brings cultural heritage to life at museums and heritage sites all over Europe. It is a unique field of adult education that combines the arts, history, education and theatre-world. It is used to interactively teach the public about the past in order to learn for the future.

A good interpreter needs to combine many skills: he or she needs to be a host/hostess, a guide, a storyteller, an entertainer, but also a researcher and educator. There is no place in Europe where you can be trained for this specific job. However, more and more the need is expressed to created trainings on both national and international levels. From ‘Communication to the European Parliament: Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ delivered in Brussels 22.7.2014: “There is a need to identify skills needs and improve the training of heritage professionals….and to…continue developing more participative interpretation and governance models better suited to modern Europe, through greater involvement of private sector and civil society”.

In cooperation with Interpret Europe and Past Pleasures, the Certified Live Interpreter course has been developed and launched in September 2018. This is a week of live training which focuses on the development of historical characters, learning the essentials of first and third person interpretation, storytelling and use of costumes, props and surroundings. In the feedback on this first training, participants mentioned the need for a theoretical framework and the wish for more background information. This cannot be all put together in one week, but it will be covered by the video-lessons that we are developing.

You can already start with the theoretical framework by ordering my book: Representation of the Past in Public Spheres. Experiencing the Past: the reconstruction and recreation of history at Colonial Williamsburg. The book can be ordered via the website of Beleef Het Verleden (Experience the Past) as a PDF or physical book.