Marketing & Communications

Making History Come Alive

Taylor Moyer’s plays tell “their side of the story”

W . Taylor Moyer is intrigued by history. Even his first elementary school "show and tell" was an indicator that he liked history. While the other children were showing off their toys, he shared an authentic dreamcatcher he had gotten at a Native American pow wow.

Today, the BGSU senior is studying adolescent and young adult education with a focus on social studies. The degree, he believes, will better enable him to help tell the stories of the Native Americans, the Civil War soldiers and other historical figures whose lives have impacted our own. And when he isn't in class or studying, he is making his own history.

Moyer connects the past, present and future via original historical dramas. Through his own theater company, 1801 Productions, based in his hometown of Napoleon, Ohio, he has created and directed plays that tell stories from a historical point of view. His first was "1801," a play that tells the story of a family's move to northwest Ohio and their encounters with Native Americans, wild animals and strange illnesses during the move. Reviews of the show remarked about the authentic costumes and story lines. All three shows sold out.

He next tackled the 1920s with a take on Prohibition and "flappers." His third show, "The Outlaws of Promontory," was a Western that focused on the Westward expansion, and included music during a bar scene and two shoot-outs. His most recent community production was "A House Divided," a historical musical tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The show, named after President Lincoln's speech, is centered on a Kentucky family in the 1860s trying to stay together while its country falls apart. An encore performance is slated in December at a dinner theater in Archbold.

His theatrical talents are also being put to use at his hometown high school, where, even before he has graduated, he serves as a drama director for the spring and fall musicals. Already he has successfully directed "Wizard of Oz" and "Beauty and the Beast." He and the students are exceptionally excited about next spring's production of the just off Broadway play, Tarzan. They will be one of the first Ohio high schools to perform the play.

He also makes time to serve as an assistant to the high school band director and helps instruct the drum line. Whether he's working with the theater or band students, "it's all about "proving what we can do together," he said. "Theater and music are great ways to express ourselves."

Looking for additional ways to connect the past to the present, Moyer often is a re-enactor for area re-enactments at Fort Meigs and other historical venues.

Additionally he volunteers as a part-time curator and tour guide for a local historical society.

"Through studying history I see where people leave their mark, and what we do today really does matter," he explained.

"We are all connected, even if we don't want to be. Our actions, thoughts and ideas directly affect the world around us. I want to leave a mark somewhere in the world and certainly don't want that mark washed away like sand on a beach. 'Make it count,' that's my motto."