In Greek myth, Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, provided Theseus with a  ball of red yarn to help him find his way through the Labyrinth and defeat the Minotor.

Living History Programs

The 49er:
A Gold Run Musicianer
Time frame: 1850's

The Klondike
Tales of a Sourdough
Time Frame: 1898

The Banjo:
An American Gypsy
Time frame: 19th Century

  Jacques Portier:
Old Nor'Wester
Time frame: 1830's

The Great Depression:
How do you spell relief?
Time frame: 1930's


Story Telling


There was a time in History
 Seminar Series






There was a time...                 Living History & Musical  Programs
Like Ariadne's thread, the humanities guide us through the complex labyrinth of modern life to an increased understanding of who we are, where we have been and where we are going.

                                                                                   Back to There was a time... LLC

John Salicco

Historical Impersonator, Writer and Musician

For booking information:
email or call
Write: 3607 Broadmoor Dr NE, Tacoma, WA  98422

About us: There was a time, LLC.

John's Biographical Information

Past performances



A Seattle Documentary

There is an excellent documentary now playing on regarding the birth and growth of the Port of Seattle.  It is a must see for anyone interested in the history of our area.

You may recognize one of the actors in the front of the canoe portraying the Denny's sounding of the harbor for their new port.  Vaun Raymond did an excellent job on this documentary and I am proud to have been even a small part of this project. For another documentary by Vaughn about the making of this film go to my links page.

Historical or Literary Impersonation - Entertainment with a Message

I approach Living History Programs essentially as theatre.  This type of impersonation involves the portrayal of a literary or historic personage for a modern audience. Historical and Literary Impersonation can be scripted, improvised or a combination of both. 

The Historical Impersonator is an actor, an entertainer and a historian.  The purpose of this genre of theater is to both entertain and to provide insight to a former time and place through the eyes of an eye-witness to history.  The character can be famous or obscure.  The typical format of the presentation has the impersonator addressing the audience in first person as the historical character.  This is followed by a question and answer period where the actor remains in character responding to questions as the historical character during the time period in which the character lived.  The final portion of the presentation is a wrap up question and answer period where the actor drops character and converses with the audience as his modern self with modern perspective. 

Historical Impersonation is essentially theatrical biography.  It is a useful tool for education in American history.  Rendering the past more human, more vivid, more intimate, more accessible and more connected to ourselves, this presentation format reminds us that the great personages of history are not super-beings. They are just people.  They worried about decisions, attended to wives and children, contended with the winds of fortune, and put on their pants one leg at a time.  Quoting Emerson , "There is properly no history; only biography."  Historical impersonation brings biography to life.



John Quincy Adams/ The 49er/ The Banjo: An American Gypsy/ Jacques Portier/ The Great Depression/ Story Telling/ Nisqually Seminar Series/ Confederate Blue/ Company Store/ Inquiring Mind/ About Us/ John Salicco Bio/There was a time in History/ John's Performance Calendar/ Links