TRAINING & TOUR DESIGN
Throughout his career Dale has designed unique visitor experiences and trained staff to deliver engaging tours and living history presentations.
After conducting training and tour development for many years, he developed THE CAST model to create tours that incorporate best practices and recent research in visitor studies.
Why “THE CAST?” A tour is in many ways like a performance. By keeping the theater mindset of a cast, the presentation is treated as an event which requires careful design, rehearsal, and practice, creating the best experience possible for the public.
Dale has worked in the living history field his entire career, using nearly all methods of living history interpretation in training staff, designing experiences, creating school tours, interpreting with first person, third person, museum theatre – even second person on occasion. Living history is a powerful tool when it is creatively designed and, most important, the interpreters are well-trained. By merging basic theater techniques with best practices and recent research in interpretation, Dale helps sites and interpreters become even better at what they do.
The first two projects below involved developing authentic, believable, engaging living history characters that either freely interacted with the public or led a tour as a character.
ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER
Trained staff at the 1860s Smith Family Farm and the 1928 Swan House to develop first person living history characters, create "rehearsed improvisational" encounters between characters, and make connections with visitors using storytelling and objects.
We approached Dale when we were shifting our interpretation from docent-guided tours to living history and first person interactions. Not only did he help us develop the foundational skills needed to succeed, he helped us identify the unique interpretive strengths and characteristics that our site has to offer.
We still use his training techniques with our newer interpreters; the materials and exercises are easily adaptable to new research and content which makes them invaluable as we develop new storylines and characters. Best decision ever! Thank you Dale!
- Kelly Whitfield, Historic House Manager, 1860s Smith Family Farm, Atlanta History Center
Dale’s four day workshop was invaluable in preparing our interpretative staff to interact with the public in first person. Not only did he provide a good foundation, but he also provided us with the tools to grow and adapt as needed.
- Jessica Rast VanLanduyt, Historic House Manager, Swan House and Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta History Center
CASTLE HILL ON THE CRANE ESTATE
Located in Ipswich, MA. Trained staff to conduct tours as first person characters for the new “Guest of the Cranes” tour. Taught characterization, storytelling, and use of hands-on interactions, incorporating themes, and best practices in interpretation.
I'm not especially keen on touring mansions but I had a blast with this one. Our tour guide played the role of a head steward to the estate in 1929 and we were guests invited for the weekend gala. It made the tour come alive. What a fantastic time!
- Site Visitor, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate
HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM
Worked with staff to redesign tour with THE CAST model and then trained interpreters to use thematic interpretation, storytelling, and hands-on and minds-on activities to create more engaging tours.
Dale Jones has a world of perspective on historical interpretation, and he is wonderful at working with our staff to move us toward our potential.
- Bill Worthen, Director, Historic Arkansas Museum
Baltimore National Heritage Area: Tour guide training
Canadian Museum of Civilization: Actor training
Delaware State Parks: Interpretation training
Hancock Shaker Village: Guide training
Maryland Historical Society: Guide training