What people are saying about Dick Cheatham's presentations:
"Your ability to deliver an educational topic, while in character as Mr. Rolfe and to maintain a multi-way conversation with all the attendees was remarkable. Your thought provoking questions to us and the observations you shared, had us speaking up and rethinking some of our philosophies and opinions. I believe that your characters are able to discuss an unlimited variety of topics, while maintaining a conversation with true and active participants in just about any setting the host supplies."
C. Lee Page, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
“…proved to be the highlight of the evening. It was just the right balance of entertainment and information for the event.”
Mark R. Warner, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia - Host of the State Dinner for the 2004 Southern Governors Association
“One feature of the weekend that made the event so enjoyable was getting to see your presentation of Meriwether Lewis...You had the audience enthralled at your performance.”
Dr. Gary Moulton, Editor of the definitive edition of “The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”
“You are a superb one-man gang. Voice and mannerisms are right on. I would love to see your other programs.”
General Hal Stearns, PhD, Lewis and Clark Scholar
“When Richard took the stage, I didn't know what to expect. I had heard and read many accolades, but I wondered how it would work with our audience, at our event. Well, any concerns were laid to rest as I relaxed, enjoyed and watched Richard (aka John Rolfe) mesmerize our guests. He had us at "Hello"! Lest I try to overthink the magical, I think the specialness of his presentation is a mix of several things - an audience's fascination with an out-of-time guest, a powerful (yet not overdone) and skilled stage presence, and content that spoke to everyone in the room. Personally I was reminded of the powerful (and yet not famous) everyday people we have to thank for America's successes (we do stand on the shoulders of giants) and the lessons they learned along the way - that still have something to teach us today. Even though the meal was delicious, Richard's presentation was my favorite part of the evening, and after hearing comments from our guests, I wish I had given it more time on our agenda, as encouraged to do. Thank you Richard!”
Cathy Raymond, Perceptions, Personal Coaching
“A super conference. I can't tell you how many people commented to me that the highlights were your performance of John Rolfe and Bill Barker's Jefferson. And that was nothing compared to the feedback on the post-tour. They were ecstatic to say the least at both the choice of sites visited and your performance as tour guide.”
Vince Miller, President, International Society for Individual Liberty
“Let me take this opportunity to tell you how delighted we were with the performance of Dick Cheatham in character as John Rolfe during the 400th anniversary celebration of the landing at Jamestown. Of all the activities we were involved with or hosted during this celebration weekend in May of 2007, the presentation by “John Rolfe” was by far, the absolute highlight of the entire event for those able to attend. He truly made history come alive for all of us and I cannot speak highly enough about his performance…The historical accuracy of his presentation and the significant educational and entertainment value of his delivery made this singular event a truly memorable experience for everyone. Not only were the invited attendees enthralled, but many folks in the general population walking by would stop to listen and ended up staying to the end, and were as captivated as the seated audience. I am still getting positive feedback from our members about Dick’s presentation and I am looking forward to a repeat performance for our organization in the near future.”
Peter Humphrey Bryan, President, Order of First Families of Virginia
"...everyone thought that you did a very good job of linking situations that were faced in colonial times with those that our business is approaching. It was really fascinating to draw parallels between problems John Rolfe experienced - no precious metals, inferior tobacco - and his determination in creating solutions...very insightful”
Greg Williams, President, CCA Financial
“I think you hit the nail on the head. You received rave reviews. Everyone enjoyed it.”
Ken Wilk, Assistant National Coordinator for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
"I want to tell you again how much we enjoyed your presentation on...Richard Henry Lee...The service you provide...is of immeasurable value to us all and I admire the devotion you obviously give to your profession..."
Dianne E. Conwell, President, G. P. W. C.
"I was very, very pleased with your presentation as John Rolfe. This is quite a change from most conferences...I was particularly impressed that you were able to weave into the monologue the idea that entrepreneurism and profit motivated the original settlers and their financial backers, as is being done anew with our information economy in this decade. Very appropriate."
Alfred C. Weaver, Founding Director, Internet Technology Innovation Center
“As an educator, member of the National Council for History Education, having served on the Virginia Board, and too a member of the program committee who invited this timely speaker I was more than captivated by Mr. Rolfe’s attire, his wisdom, knowledge, and story. I thought that I knew a bit of it but I learned so much more because in a very distinct way I was learning it from “the man” himself. The learning seemed effortless because of his ability to take me (all who were there) to a place in time. We journeyed together into a story. We became one with the story.”
Georgianne Ginder, National Council for History Education
“I want to thank you for the great portrayal of Captain Lewis during our mini-Chatauqua here at VMI. I have received a number of comments from attendees who were amazed and delighted with the experience. Your balance of historical accuracy and entertainment provided the perfect educational experience. I know much of your presentation was based on the actual words of Lewis, which helped create the moment for our audience. In addition, your uniform was impeccable and reflected the same attention to detail reflected in your words. “Believable,” “Entertaining” are comments I have heard repeated-”We felt in the presence of the real Meriwether Lewis.” I look forward to the next opportunity to have you, or Captain Lewis, back at VMI.”
Keith E. Gibson, Colonel, Virginia Military Institute
“The food was great, the location convenient and the setting was perfect for the welcome that “John Rolfe” gave us. Having grown up four miles from Jamestown, with a father who worked with the archaeologists there, I expected his presentation to be pleasant but not particularly exciting. In actuality, he included facts about the early settlers in Virginia that even I didn’t know, which made the evening particularly interesting.”
Margaret Radcliffe, Manager, Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
“Dinner at LaGrotta gave our new board members a chance to become acquainted with the rest of the board and included the added pleasure of the presentation by your special guest “John Rolfe.” I was particularly impressed by the way he incorporated information pertinent to the interests of those attending, about mineral resources in the colony of Virginia.”
Michael Karmis, Director, Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
"You were a huge success and really added to the program.
"Catherine Negaard, University of Richmond
"You were entertaining, informative and a superb story teller...Thank you for providing a special personal touch!
"Michelle Carpenter, VIT Conference Coordinator
"Dick you were one of the best gambles I've ever taken! You were a thoroughly delightful addition to the program...a great change of pace, and completely engaging. Polished, informative, and great fun. Our party chair...told me this morning that your appearance makes him think that we should ALWAYS have a historical character on the program. I agree."
Bob Smith, Convention Chairman Minnesota Libertarian Party
"I loved the new twist' on John Rolfe! The teachers were highly complimentary, and rated all the LHA presentations as the best events of the week...We will be in touch soon with some ideas for next year!" "You were - as always - in fine form with Mr. Rolfe, and all of us commented later on how much useful information you managed to pack into a really terrific evening's program." "Their reluctance to finish the question and answer period and let you head back home as a reasonable hour is again a testament to their happy response to the character and program! We give you four stars!"
Lydia Volskis, Education Director, Museum of American Frontier Culture over three years
"I have seen your interpretation of President Tyler on a number of occasions, whether hired by Sherwood Forest of others...Although we have attempted to reproduce President Tyler within the resources of our staff, I have found that your interpretation is superior to anyone...Your demeanor and personal characteristics seem to suit the descriptions of President Tyler, as well. After all, he was a Virginia gentleman."
Kay Montgomery Tyler, Managing Director, Sherwood Forest Plantation
“Your portrayal of John Rolfe (who you and I both assert was the first true entrepreneur in North America) set exactly the right tone, providing an appropriate historical context for discussions on various current economic issues. I heard there were many compliments not only from the Mercatus organizers, but also from participants – most of whom were congressional staffers – and guests alike.”
H. Edward Mann, Executive Director, Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission
“As always, you did a tremendous job. Your performance was inspirational. It was clear to me that the audience was really excited and engaged throughout.”
William B. Obrochta, Director of Education, Virginia Historical Society
“In thirteen years of presenting the Master Docent Series workshops we have never had a program as highly attended or as well received as your program last Friday! You plunged the audience into the excitement of developing plans for Lewis and Clark’s journey through the Louisiana Purchase.”
Elizabeth Scott Shatto, Frederick Historic Sites Consortium
"Your involvement in developing our Tuesday evening dinner program is very much appreciated, and your performance as Lieutenant Manson was excellent. We hope you enjoyed your time with our finance and technology executives. I am sure our group will enjoy recalling General Lee's Staff Meeting for many years to come."
Mike Fournie, Anheuser-Busch Companies
"The Virginia Chamber is still basking in the glow of the spectacular evening of the 75th Anniversary Gala. Your performance as John Rolfe was excellent and it was clear that you were thoroughly immersed in the character. Your remarks about Virginia's beginnings were right on target and your interaction with the audience was very natural. Your portrayal injected the historical flavor we wanted in a program that celebrated Virginia for Virginians."
Hugh Keogh, President, Virginia Chamber of Commerce
“Working with Dick, in America and here in Great Britain, I have consistently found him to be supremely talented as an entrepreneur, teacher and performer. His research is meticulous, his characterizations utterly engaging, his insistence upon accuracy of information and period costume and accessories refreshing, his intelligence keen, and his business acumen sharp, focused and forward-thinking.”
Mark Wallis MA, FAHI, Director, Past Pleasures Ltd
"Your portrayal of ...John Rolfe is among the best living history programs we have witnessed. The obvious enjoyment you injected into your performances was pleasurable to watch. Everyone appreciated your willingness to sit for photo after photo...endless wasn't it? Some of the comments we heard were “friendly, knowledgeable, entertaining." What else can a sponsor hope for when a performance is perfect?"
Mary Calos, Tourism Director, City of Hopewell, Virginia
"You were at the top of our audience poll...Your presentation of colonist John Rolfe greeting new colonists truly brought our early American history to life."
Luvie Owens - Chief Executive Officer, International Platform Association
"We were all delighted with your portrayal of John Rolfe at our Heritage Society Dinner this fall. It was absolutely perfect for the occasion."
Carolyn A. Raskind, Assistant Director, Community Relations and Development, Westminster-Canterbury
"John Rolfe swept me off my feet! His presentation was by far one of the best of any first person interpreter I have encountered."
Tess Glaser, Jamestown
“Yes, I have also reflected on the circumstances surrounding your trip out here. It has made a great story that I have been ask to retell on a number of occasions. The response from the attendees was fantastic! They loved your presentation. The presentation you and Mr. Barker made as Meriwether Lewis and President Jefferson stimulated discussions and conversations throughout the remaining two days of the conference. Usually during the Plenary session there are side conversations going on in the back of the room and some people are getting up and coming in through the talk. After Bill entered the room I went around to the back to catch the rest of the session. I was struck by the fact that you could have heard a pin drop during your entire session. Except for you and Bill, nobody was talking. I have never seen that group so attentive. I also noticed that... nobody got up to leave before you were done. My sincere appreciation to you and Mr. Barker for the contribution you made to the success of our conference. I hope I will have another opportunity to work with your organization in the future.”
Mike Huffman, Conference Organizer, Missouri Natural Resources Conference 2004
“Cheatham’s presentations feel more like entertainment than education.”
“Successful Meetings” magazine
“You made such an impression that they may forget TJ altogether. They definitely remember that words and ideas are a powerful weapon.”
Susie Mountcastle, A. G. Richardson
“This morning a member called to say it was the best program we’ve ever had. I concur!”
Pat Valentine, Home Front Chapter, Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and Meriwether Society
“Please accept my sincere thanks for a wonderful presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of the Lees of Virginia last weekend. Your portrayal of Richard Henry Lee at the end of his career was superb. It provided the keynote event of our weekend meeting and was most fitting in his childhood home. Our Society members will be talking about it for years to come.”
Carter B. Refo, President, The Society of the Lees of Virginia
“Wow!!! This is the only word that I can come up with to describe your presentation of John Rolfe! People were blown away by him and you! I have heard great comments about the both of you! Wow!!! I want to thank you for being easy to work with. You were willing to do what needed to be done when it was needed and I appreciate it so much!
Pamela Beasley, Director, Natural State Chautauqua
“I received nothing but very positive feedback on Richard Henry lee's visit. Thanks for all you do!!!!”
Howard Blitz, Freedom Library, Yuma, Arizona
“It is always a pleasure to have you bring your historic persons to White Sulphur Springs. Our guests are truly enthralled with your portrayal; it is uniquely real. You have found your calling…I look forward to your return soon.”
Betsy Conte, Director of Social Activities, The Greenbrier
“We all had a great time and enjoyed the presentation. I had a number of compliments about it, mostly along the lines of what you and I spoke about – that people don’t know a lot about John Tyler and appreciated the opportunity to learn more about him…It was a wonderful ending to a great day. Thank you for being flexible and making it happen.”
Tom Kilgannon, President, Freedom Alliance
“I got lots of positive remarks and will forward one that came by email. My husband overheard someone saying something to this effect, “Until Friday night, I just could not “get” the Battle of South Mountain. Hearing it in the words of Captain Manson, it finally came together for me”…I will make sure that all our partners planning programs know how to contact you and about your availability…Thanks again for a great program on Friday evening.”
Elizabeth Scott Shatto, Tourism Council of Frederick County
“Let me start by stating, it is an honor to have you as a historical speaker for the upcoming youth leadership conference. I have listened to you over the years and found you to be entertaining yet, more importantly, educational. So have the students, as your critiques are always highly rated.”
Earl Johnson, Major, USAF (Ret), Director, American Independence Foundation of Colonial Virginia
“I saw Mr. Cheatham perform (as John Clayton) at the launch of the Virginia Flora last night at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, but I did not get a chance to tell him how wonderful he was. My husband and I both enjoyed it, and thought it a most effective way to learn such a valued history. It is a delightful and enlightening show.”
“Bringing to life Colonial Virginia naturalist John Clayton, Dick Cheatham convinces us that the man has just dismounted from horseback after botanizing little-explored reaches of the colony. In the context of 21st-century botanical achievements, Cheatham time-warps us to Clayton’s 18th century and brings into relief the unique hardships scientists faced in those days as they performed research and tried to publish their results. Colorful, entertaining, educational, and eye-opening.”
Bland Crowder, Associate Director and Editor with the Flora of Virginia Project
“John Tyler was a big hit at The Glebe Scholar as was Dick Cheatham! Dick’s knowledge of the president and the era had the audience believing it was the mid-1800’s. Many were surprised to learn some history they didn’t realize they didn’t know. Thank you for a professionally entertaining program. The consensus was that the residents definitely would like to have Dick return as another persona. We already have our line-up for the fall programming and would like to contact you for our spring series. I’ll be booking those later this fall.”
Susan Mason, Senior Coordinator of Campus Programs - The Glebe Retirement Community
“Thank you again for embracing PorcFest with open arms. You were a hit and I personally enjoyed getting to know you better.”
Mike Finger, Organizer – PorcFest
“The residents of Westminster Canterbury thoroughly enjoyed Dick Cheatham’s portrayal of Richard Henry Lee. The performance was both educational and entertaining. Many residents remarked that they had never learned about Richard Henry Lee and they were fascinated. Cheatham’s commitment to an accurate representation of Richard Henry Lee is to be noted and commended. The musicians, flag bearer and “Richard Henry Lee” were a great addition to our July 2nd, Independence Day Program.”
Jessica Corbitt, Theater Coordinator, Westminster Canterbury Richmond
“Thanks you so very much for being our opening night speaker for the Winter Lecture Series for the Chesterfield Historical Society. You really got us off to a good start; the audience was very much “into” what you were saying, they were engaged and wanting more when time ran out!! We also had a very good crowd for a rainy, foggy first night. A lovely evening! Thank you and maybe we will see you again.”
Louise King, Winter Series Coordinator, Chesterfield Historical Society
“Mr. Cheatham, as John Rolfe, provided two spectacular 45-minute performances for 160 people for The Parsons’ Cause Foundation, Inc. on August 19, 2017. Mr. Cheatham has a thorough knowledge of his subject, provides witty and entertaining interaction with the audience, and is able to weave intricate details of life in Jamestown into his performance. His performances received well-deserved standing ovations. We look forward to working with Mr. Cheatham in the future and exploring his vast repertoire of personalities.”
John Tucker, Parson’s Cause Foundation
“Thank you for your outstanding performance at our Thursday camp meeting. We got comments like, "he was right on" and 'I learned a lot." We are happy to support you in your work to make history come alive.”
Harrison Taylor, Commander
“Your performance was a big hit and did a masterful job of setting up the speech by Rep. Wittman. I thought that it was a great testament to your performance that two of the other speakers cited you during their talks.”
Michael Schoelwer, Reagan Day Dinner Organizer
“My wife says that your performance is her lasting memory of the event. From what I hear, that is a typical reaction from that night. Your message and duration were spot on.”
Robert E. Heffley, Lincoln Reagan Dinner Organizer
“Thank you for your excellent first- person presentation to our camp on Col. John Thomas Lewis Preston, the founding force of VMI. Not only was your period dress quite authentic, your tone and presentation also put us back to the mid-1800s. As one of our members put it, "he was spot on with his character." What I found to be quite interesting was the information and content presented in your talk. I had heard of Col. Preston but I did not know how VMI was founded and the extent that Col. Preston made it happen.”
J. Harrison Taylor, Commander, Lee-Jackson Camp #1, SCV
"I had nearly forgotten the important economic lessons about work and reward learned by the early settlers of Jamestown, Virginia. The historic character, John Rolfe brought them to vividly to life and back to my memory. For a rebirth of appreciation for the responsibility that comes with freedom, give John Rolfe an audience!"
Kimberly Hartke, Hartke Communications and Publicity for Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund
“Your talk was just wonderful!...I cannot recommend Richard Cheatham highly enough to speak at your event. He is interesting, informative and entertaining. The audience at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was enchanted with his presentation as John Rolfe on early farming at Jamestown. In particular, he knows a lot about how farmers contributed to the development of the United States of America.”
Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation
“I was fortunate to attend Mr. Cheatham's performance as Meriweather Lewis at the Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony on Sat, May 12, 2018! Simply amazing - he thoroughly became the character for over an hour and delighted the audience with information about which most of us never heard. His living history impersonation was the highlight of my weekend (after my son's graduation from W&M)!”
“Thank you so much for last night – you are amazing! The guests were still talking about you this morning.”
Missy Brittain, Director of Meetings and Events, Big Top Entertainment
“We really appreciate what you do. I was walking by the front desk the other day and trying not to eavesdrop on the conversation there, but the guest was talking loudly. She was saying, excitedly, how she and her family truly enjoy the reenactments that we offered on-site. Well done, sir! Thank you,”
John Tyner, Wyndham Kingsgate
“Thank you so much for making our field trip so memorable. Everyone enjoyed your presentation and the way you enhanced the experience by being accessible to add context…I will certainly share the excellent comments with Tracy. Thank you once again!”
Elise Rasmussen, Executive Director, Global Tobacco & Nicotine Forum Trust
“As a public policy professional and as a generally curious person, I always try to learn certain historical things about every place I visit. I try to learn what is unique about the place and the people who lived there and how those factors affected the development of the community and the broader society. Understanding these types of things is important to be aware of as we grapple with today’s controversial issues. I’m often frustrated when I endeavor to get this type of understanding because it seems that most guides and teachers feel the need to sacrifice intellectual and academic rigor for entertainment value. And sometimes, the reverse is true. That’s why my visit to Richmond was so unique. Dick’s presentations were thoroughly enchanting because of his seemingly innate ability to present substantive information in a thought-provoking manner. Dick’s presentation style doesn’t require a balancing of substance and entertainment because he uses them in a complimentary manner. Eager for more.”
Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow, Consumer Choice Center
"My, my, the crew is still ecstatic and exuberant over your presentation on Tuesday. Thank you, thank you, thank you. They all said they would have been happy to listen to you for 2 more hours. So you were a big hit, to say the least."
Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms
“My Leadership Class at Bluefield College (Richmond, Virginia Campus) and I wish to offer you a sincere “Thank You” for an outstanding, enthralling, educational experience. Your presentation of Captain Meriwether Lewis’ explorations, and his examples of leadership, teamwork, and courage, was fantastic. The students and I were truly impressed by your knowledge and presentation skills. Your presentation would be a true learning experience for any group of students and/or managers interested in leadership…Your ability to merge historic and current leadership issues is highly commended. Hopefully, we can bring you back to speak to future Leadership Classes and allow them to experience a wonderful learning event. Your presentation enhanced and brought together the basic (elements) of the entire class, so again, Thank You.”
Larry A. Connatser, EdD., Professor, Bluefield College
"Yesterday I attended one of Dick Cheatham's wonderful character interpretation programs. Within a few sentences Dick brought the whole group right into the world of the character as he was making important long-term decisions which would impact generations right up to today. Interesting interactions with contemporaries fleshed out the personality of the character, too. Very informative and enjoyable.”
Steven C. Smith, Chancellor, Henricus Colledge (1619)®
Living History Associates, Ltd.