Leslie Goddard, Ph.D., is an award-winning actress and scholar who has been portraying famous women and presenting history lectures for more than ten years.
She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University specializing in U.S. history and American Studies as well as master's degrees in both theater and museum studies. A former museum director, she is the author of two books on Chicago history and currently works full-time as a historical interpreter, author, and public speaker.
An online video series from the talented Rebecca Tulloch, featuring Q and A with First Ladies
When are you available?
I am available weekdays and weekends, daytime and evening.
How far in advance should I book?
As early as possible. I recommend at least 3-4 months in advance. If you need a specific date and contact me less than two months in advance, you might well find that the date is booked. However, I’ve booked programs with as little advance notice as one week.
Could you create a new program for us or adapt an existing program to suit our special interests?
In most cases, no. It takes a lot of time, effort, and creativity to create a new program, so any new program to be carefully considered and must have sufficient widespread appeal and match my own interests. And on the rare cases when I am able to take on a commission, I usually have to charge a separate fee for developing it. My programs take a lot of time and energy to produce and I could never create them for free. If I did I would go broke!
How much space do you need?
I can work with many different size spaces, and usually do. A formal stage is not required. As long as there’s enough room to walk around a little bit, that should do.
Do you require a deposit?
No. No money is required upfront. I do, however, request payment in full on the date of the program unless alternative arrangements are made in advance.
How long does each program run?
-- The portrayals run about 45-50 minutes plus Q and A.
-- The lectures run about 55-60 minutes plus Q and A.
Will you agree not to present the program I’ve just booked at any other venue in my area in the months around my booking?
Sadly, I cannot. Too many factors come into play. It’s impossible for me to know who competes with whom and with more than 300 presentations a year, I cannot keep track of all surrounding community presentations. However, I do understand when an organization is worried not to lose their audiences. Keep an eye on my online calendar, which is updated approximately once a month. If you have concerns, let me know. I’d be happy to offer you an alternate program, sometimes even a new program that’s set to debut.
Would you be willing to present a free (or discounted) program for us?
When it comes to offering free and discounted performances, I am culturally and community minded and have special causes that I sometimes will support with performances at no or little cost, usually fundraisers. Because this is my livelihood, and there are only so many days in a year, I have limited ability to donate or underwrite my performances. I reserve all my no-fee programs for my pet causes, usually causes that have been selected by me, within my own community.
Could you mail me a brochure?
Better than that! You can download a printable brochure right here:
1039 Hinswood Dr Darien IL 60561 US
To view clips from some of my programs, click on the titles below:
Photo by Karen Kring