Public History Performer

Position Summary

Public History Performers (PHPs) use immersive theater techniques to create engaging, hands-on learning opportunities for museum guests of all ages. PHPs perform a semi-scripted, semi-improvised interactive “show” that incorporates hands-on 17th-century daily life activities, storytelling, and scripted encounters. The “show” is performed in a large outdoor “set” - a recreation of 1620s Plymouth Colony - and is based on extensive historical research. PHPs portray actual residents of 1620s Plymouth Colony, and will be trained in all necessary historical background information.

This position is a full-time seasonal position beginning on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 and concluding on Sunday, November 26, 2023; housing is not provided. Here at Plimoth Patuxet Museums we offer actors the unique ability to have two consecutive days off each week, work generally consistent hours, and receive a full slate of benefits.

We are casting roles to portray both men and women. Actors must be able to realistically portray Mayflower passengers and other known early inhabitants of Plymouth Colony. We are casting roles to portray ages late teens and above.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Engage guests in conversations about the history of the 17th-century Atlantic world by meeting guests where they are, and thoughtfully guiding their learning.

  • Create a hands-on learning environment by involving guests in demonstrations, activities and programs.

  • Perform daily in a timed, semi-scripted, semi-improvised immersive experience.

  • Portray a resident of 1620s Plymouth Colony, including wearing historical reproduction clothing, speaking in an Early Modern English dialect, and demonstrating 17th-century English lifeways.

  • Memorize lines and blocking, and learn relevant historical information in a timely manner.

  • Run non-scripted, timed programs demonstrating 17th-century lifeways.

  • Provide a friendly and welcoming presence for all guests and coworkers throughout the Museum.

  • Attend rehearsals, training sessions and meetings as requested.

  • Take and implement notes given by the Museum Theater Manager or Assistant Manager.

  • Collaborate with other Public History Performers as part of an ensemble cast.

  • Participate in additional performances/shows including but not limited to one-person shows, dining experiences and online performances for schools and other groups.

  • Properly use and care for all museum owned materials including but not limited to historical reproductions, historical clothing, training materials, uniforms, voice amplification devices, and tools.

  • Assist in daily maintenance of the sites including basic gardening and woodworking and cleaning, etc.

  • Adhere to the policies of Plimoth Patuxet Museums as outlined in the Museum Employee manual and current job description.

This outline description focuses on the primary duties of the position. It is not designed nor intended to include all duties and responsibilities inherent in satisfactory performance of the position. Management reserves the right to revise this job description from time to time as needed.

Required Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Flexible, resilient, growth mindset

  • Have an understanding of or desire to learn immersive theater, improvisation, and the theatrical process as a whole.

  • Ability to read and understand a variety of historical and educational sources.

  • An interest in history and learning and performing 17th-century lifeways, music and dances.

  • An engaging and creative personality with the ability to communicate clearly and engagingly with guests and colleagues.

  • Fluency in English & ability to pick up on/learn dialects.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate skillfully with a wide range of people from different cultural and social backgrounds and diverse learning styles.

  • Ability to deliver an engaging, consistent performance multiple times a day

  • Ability to perform in an outdoor environment, in all weather

  • Great at problem-solving in the moment

  • Have a positive attitude and sense of humor

  • Reliability, dependability and punctuality

  • Courtesy and honesty

  • Ability to work independently, without direct supervision as well as part of a team

  • Skilled at using Google Suite, Zoom and other computer applications

Education and Experience

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required; college courses or degree in Education, History, Public History, Indigenous Studies, Archaeology, or Anthropology strongly preferred.

  • Some college or professional level training in acting or performance is preferred.

  • Experience with improv, immersive theater, and devised theater is helpful but not required

  • Experience playing an instrument, singing, and dancing is helpful

  • Experience in theater education and passion for history preferred

  • Interest and at least two years experience working with the public is essential, experience working with children in a professional educational setting is strongly preferred

Additional Requirements

The Museum is open 7 days a week April through the end of November. You must be available to work Saturdays, Sundays and some holidays, including Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is an “All-Hands On” day.

Typical hours are 9:00am - 5:00pm, five days a week through the end of November. Flexibility in work hours and days off is required. This position will include working additional night/weekend hours or days as needed; these will be primarily in October & November. Schedules may change based on weather forecast, and/or low attendance for any given day.

The Museum respects the religious, and cultural beliefs and practices of all employees. On request, The Museum will strive to make an accommodation for such observances when a reasonable accommodation is available, and does not create an undue hardship on the Museum.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Duties may include working sitting, standing, bent over or kneeling; may involve some lifting and moving of objects; standing for extended periods; climbing stairs, ladders, companionways, and/or gangways. Must be able to lift 25 pounds. PHPs wear historically accurate linen and wool costumes while working outdoors in a non-climate controlled environment.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The workplace is not climate controlled. This position requires outdoor work in a variety of conditions. When outdoors, it can sometimes be in adverse weather conditions. Work may be performed in dusty and smoky environments; in poorly lit areas; near open fires. The noise level in the workplace varies from quiet to loud.

Core Commitments

Whether part-time or full-time, year-round or seasonal, all staff and volunteers at Plimoth Patuxet advance the Museum’s educational mission and strategic goals. They uphold the Museum’s core values and principles in their work and in all of their interactions with the public and with coworkers. This commitment helps to ensure that Plimoth’s reputation for excellence is maintained and that, as stewards of the Museum, we are helping to create a relevant and sustainable future for Plimoth Patuxet Museums. The core principles that guide us in our work are:

  • Safety and Comfort

  • Compassionate Customer Engagement

  • Professional Excellence

  • Personal Accountability

  • Advance a Culture of Philanthropy

  • Teamwork

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by submitting a PDF file of your resume, and cover letter to, or by submitting them by US mail to the following address:

Plimoth Patuxet Museums
Attn: Human Resources
137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA 02360