My city is having its Doors Open event again. For Doors Open, several historic buildings are being opened up to the public. This means that buildings that usually have a fee (eg. house museums) are free and buildings that are used as office spaces are allowing non-staff and non-customers to come in and have a look around.
The site that I work at is the old jail built in the 1880’s. The jail is basically gutted now with it being mostly empty except for some storage and a couple of office spaces. A friend of mine has a vision of it being converted into a tourist attraction with some restoration, some history and some sort of cafe or bar. This has been done in multiple places in Europe and even the states. But for now, the public only has access to it during this annual weekend event.
The jail has several local historic figures connected to it as well as several groups of humanity. My friend has arranged that amateur actors such as myself play characters in several of the gutted rooms so the tourist can imagine what it was like to work in or be incarcerated in this jail at that time.
I have played Dr. Amelia Yeomans one of the first women in Canada to hold a medical degree (second only to her daughter).I have played a prostitute who would have been put in jail for plying her trade.This evening I will be helping to set this year’s event up and practicing my role as a family member collecting the body of one of the prisoners. The point of this role is to talk about what funerals were like back in the day and to point out that prisoners would be dying in there from diseases, violence, child-birth and hangings. I will be wearing my mourning outfit and Shirley will also be playing a mourner in her gown.
Hopefully, we wont be grinning like Cheshire cats while playing our roles! Wish us a set of broken legs please!