hatlogoGreat Stories Alive !

Read the "quick" story at this link . . .
Banishing the bah-humbug spirit" The Boston Globe Dec. 11, 2008

LePage began "performing" by bringing history to life through improvised portrayals of real people from the past, first with the National Park Service and other historic sites and museums from Oregon to British Columbia for over 8 years.  He's developed and given presentations, and written, performed, and produced his own one-man shows, all in character, specializing in early Pacific Northwest history spanning from Lewis & Clark to the beginning of Oregon statehood.  He's also appeared on the nationally televised PBS "History Detectives" series over three seasons in roles ranging from a bartender to Robert E. Lee's "walking footsteps!"  He's addressed the Oregon House of Representatives as pioneer legislator "Robert Newell," and appeared on OPB's Oregon Experience's Road to Statehood episode during the Oregon Sesquicentennial as the bearded French Canadian, Etienne Lucier.  Oregon Public Broadcasting produced and first premiered LePage portraying "Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Traveling Thespian" on Christmas Eve 2010, broadcasting his own shortened version of Dickens' Christmas Carol annually in December as a one-hour radio program on stations throughout Oregon and SW Washington.  He continued to "live in the past" each year during the holidays until 2013 with dramatic readings of "A Christmas Carol" to benefit charity in the guise of a ficticious "Victorian Englishman," giving them in the same manner as Dickens actually did, either using or based upon the author's own historic script!  One of his sweetest performances was as the "visiting preacher" when he gave his 30-minute version as a "narrative sermon" for a church in England as their Christmas morning service!  2015 marked his transition from performing in the past as Victorian-era "Englishman Thomas Hutchinson, Traveling Thespian" to being in the present as simply himself, "Al LePage, Performer."

"Bringing great stories alive," says LePage, "is my focus and creating a memorable experience the goal of my performances.  Great stories can make people more aware of the reality around them, connecting them with others and within themselves for greater understanding and compassion. Live drama can bring these great stories to life in a way that provides both entertainment and insight.  And sure, I'm 'performing' but it's really more than that for me.  I'm really preaching, it's like being able to give one of the best sermons I've ever heard in my life, over and over again!  I'm on fire!  It feels so meaningful.  Hence it truly is a performance with passion and purpose.  So, given all this and the themes of personal transformation and charity in Dickens' Christmas Carol, it simply makes a lot of sense to use my time and talents to benefit others through dramatic readings of this particular story."

Hunger is most often the concern that LePage's Christmas Carol performances seek to prevent.  In fact, it was something LePage experienced as a young man when the Boston school he'd been working at as a teacher unexpectedly closed over the winter holiday break.  His savings were meager, and deciding not to go on unemployment at the time, struggled to make ends meet.  He decided to pay his bills and had little money left for food.  So, he got hungry for the very first time in his life.  He was not starving, of course, but remembers it being winter and spring, and he felt cold and hungry, and may even have been slightly malnourished as time went on. That experience has stuck with him ever since, and that's why his primary focus is to donate all proceeds to benefit organizations that help prevent hunger close to home.

"I've always had this thing about making some sort of very personal connection with the places and people of times past," says LePage, "ever since I took a trip across the country as a young man to experince and learn about America's significant natural and historic sites.   Maybe it started on my first stop in Philadelphia, when during a tour of Independance Hall, I asked if I could play the piano there, and the tour guide said, "yes!"  I played a short piece I had composed to the delight of those in the tour group, my first audience perhaps?  But my connections grew over time and continued.  During the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial I walked 16 miles along the same approximate route similarly done by Captain Clark himself to finally reach the Pacific Ocean on the same historic calendar date, 200 years to the day.  I did MY first real performance in the Pacific Northwest at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in 2000, where THE first real performances happend in the Pacific Northwest in 1845!  Performing in Boston, on location where Charles Dickens himself actually gave his first public performance on the very same historic calendar date, today's Converse Hall concert hall venue at 88 Tremont Street, took my personal connection to the places and people of history to new heights!  But when I first performed in England for the very same charity Dickens himself did in Birmingham, England, with one of his great grandsons in attendance, plus the opportunity to later visit and stand on the same stage Dickens gave the performance in 1853 . . . it was more dream than reality.


LePage, a native of Framingham, MA, besides being a performer/producer is also the director of the non-profit trail organization he founded in 1994 and still working to realize its mission of "Keeping the Coast for Everyone" through trails, public access and coastal preservation.  He publicly performed Dickens' Christmas Carol from 2006 through 2018, beginning in the USA, then Canada, and eventually in England, too.  His life suddenly took a new direction and purpose in October 2018 with the release of the report on the seriousness of climate change to the future of life on earth, and has decided to dedicate the rest of his life to serve people, wildlife and the earth relative to climate change and biodiversity.   

However, to keep the tradition of telling Dickens' great story alive in the Martha Mary Chapel at Longfellow's Wayside Inn and the Omni Parker House, he's worked with The Sudbury Savoyards so shows could continue at both venues in 2019 and hopefully beyond.  "The Savoyards" have also embraced, besides telling this great holiday story, LePage's other primary goal -- being generous -- with all proceeds going to support charity.  He currently resides in Eugene, Oregon with his very strong and high-spirited cat, Beetledee, and his adopted, often difficult but sweet little dog, Missy.