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C. Roger Cooper, an independent insurance salsesman, "reenactor" and amateur historian, created An American Colonial Experience. This is an educational and theatrical organization focusing on the American Colonial and Revolutionary War period. Covering the era from 1770 to 1789, this was the crucial and, indeed, dicey years from which The United States emerged as a young nation; from the break with the crown to the formation of the United States Government under the Constitution.

View KTLA news coverage of appearance at Ronald Reagan Library

Find latest events for An American Colonial Experience

More info at: An American Colonial Experience

The Questions (and Answers)
Question 1: You're a reenactor. How did you get involved with that?
Answer: I prefer to call myself an Actor/reenactor. Mainly through my activities with the Son's of the American Revolution, Color Guard Activities. As we are located on the West Coast, the American Revolution is mainly experienced in "text books". We discovered how to "bring the American Revolution to life" for West Coast audiences. Those living on the East Coast are steep in the area do to all of the surrounding historic sites.
Question 2: Living History can encompass a wide variety of eras. Why did you choose the Colonial period as the focus of your work?
Answer: Hard to say. I have always been fascinated about the American Revolution and the more I studied, the more I realized how little I actually knew. We thoroughly enjoy sharing our complied study of this era with the general public. "The People" are hungry.
Question 3: Most reenactors don't have their own show. What factors went into the creation of An American Colonial Experience?
Answer: A chance discussion with the President of the California State University at San Bernardino Dr. Albert Karnig,. I explained a "wish and an idea". As he is a very inspirational leader he said "Lets do it". He referred me to the filming department at CSUSB and we cobbled together a team of filming students, actors, and a Professor of Theatrical Arts Dept. Coincidentally, very soon after we finished this filming, I was contacted by a representative of Sea World San Diego. They needed us for a special promotion and the result was a three year contract. We were off and running.
Question 4: How long have you been reenacting? Did you have prior acting experience before you began An American Colonial Experience?
Answer: Since the mid 1990's. I have some experience in Equity Waiver and Community stage. I am working on a film career and here is my "reel": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRxTXsx7UOI I combine live performances with whatever filming I can be cast for.
Question 5: You look like you channel a fairly accurate George Washington. Do you portray other historic characters as well?
Answer: At this time GW is all I can handle in live performance. In filming it is easier to create "characters" as it a short time experience.
Question 6: Are your shows basically monologues, or do other actors participate?
Answer: The vast majority of my performances are "solo". We will be venturing into a new program 4-14-2012 at the Reagan Library, private program for the Moorpark Unified School District, "Into to the mind of George Washington and James Madison", covering the Declaration of Independence and processing into the Constitutional era, they are highly twined. Our programs are NOT monologue/lectures but extremely interactive and spontaneous. GW was NOT a lecturer nor accomplished speaker "ala" Patrick Henry and John Adams. One of GW's motto's was "Deeds not words". We combine scripted material with live improvisation. We supply the "questions" that everyone has wanted to ask but are not sure how and we encourage the audience to respectfully ask all the easy and hard questions highlighting the "conundrums" of the personality and era. Because of my numerous presentation in this form, I can usually expect the standard questions and I really enjoy the "off the wall questions".
Question 7: You have several different shows you perform. Are the scripts standardized or do you change them for different perfomances?
Answer: Each show is "tailored" for the anticipated audience. The presentations can be divided into three basic type of presentations, 1. meet and greet and interact with general public including photo opportunities. 2. is #1 and then a presentation/review of the whys of the American Revolution. #3. is a highly academic presentation for educators and knowledgeable audience, "Into the mind of George Washington".
Question 8: What do you bring to the stage that other historic presentations lack? What are special about your shows?
Answer: Initially we presented "demonstrations" with no script which were rather "flat". At the Sea World shows we developed scripts with a beginning,middle and end. This made the events much more lively. We do shows and not just demonstrations. This is much more satisfying for the audience and the participants. Our shows are highly interactive with NO question being a dumb one.
Question 9: We imagine you have a wide variety of costumes and props you use in your productions. Do you have a favorite, or are there any that would be of special interest to our readers?
Answer: My shows are just me in GW's Colonial Uniform. The only props are the questions provided. This is where the "rubber meets the road" to keep the audience entertained throughout the presentation. Our Colonial shows have a bunch of props, solely outdoors, and a good representation of our encampments can be seen at the photo section, Sea World, www.americancolonialexperience.com.
Question 10: Other than reencating and your An American Colonial Experience programs, what other interests do you have?
Answer: Whew, not many as I am still running my own insurance brokerage business. I am very invloved in "church planting". Coincidentally I am a fourth generation Anglican Church member, just as GW. At the start of the American Revolution the Anglican Church (Church of England) became the Protestant Episcopal Church USA, which morphed into the Episcopal Church USA, ECUSA, and now is The Episcopal Church or TEC. Do to the doctrinal changes and drifting away of TEC from traditional Christian church and Anglican Church, my wife and I have left TEC and are involved with Traditional Orthodox Anglicanism as the way to introduce people to Jesus Christ. Probably the best way to describe historical reenactors is...."Hippies from the 60's who became tired of golf and tennis and how now found a way to be a credible "hippie". As I have explained to my wife, reenacting is safer and less expensive than a sports car OR Mistress....or vice verse....use your imagination on this one.. We are also "empty nestors" Son in Hawaii, daughter in Washingtion D.C., daughter in nursing school.


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