History Alive, Inc. is committed to the production of new plays and theatrical scenarios based on true stories from the past. Emphasis is given to interactive theatre so that actors and audience together, through a playful and dynamic way of engaging with history, might broaden their understanding of the present and gain a fresh sense of purpose within their own era. The company also seeks to invigorate the local economy by designing activities which connect the community and its visitors to a distinct, local history.
Formed to commemorate the tercentenary of the Salem Witch Trials, History Alive produced its first piece in 1992. Cry Innocent : the People vs. Bridget Bishop, an audience-interactive piece of theatre written by Mark Stevick, was created to be performed in downtown Salem. The company was formed by faculty and graduates of Gordon College in Wenham, MA including Professor Norman Jones, who became the company’s first artistic director, and David Goss, who served as the director of education. It was organized under the college’s non-profit umbrella as a recurring activity.
Since its inception in 1992, History Alive grew to be able to cover its expenses without college funds. It had also achieved a recognizable identity distinct from the college. As the theatre company evolved it became clear that it could do more efficient and relevant work by becoming independent, and tying itself closer to the Salem community. In the summer of 2014, History Alive became its ow