Character Interpreter

Tall Ship Providence Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314


Diana West

Job Details



Job Description

The Tall Ship Providence is a dockside visitor attraction based in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Our focus is living history – we will provide a window into life aboard Providence between 1776 and 1779 and the people who were connected to it, both aboard and ashore. Our programs will provide a link to our country’s rich maritime and naval history, as well as the American Revolution. The Tall Ship Providence Foundation (TSPF) owns and manages Providence.

Character Interpreters portray real, historical figures to the visiting public. They are the “special something” that takes the visitor experience from “good” to “great.”

In addition to memorizing scripted material, Character Interpreters will be expected to read extensively about their character’s life and be prepared to answer questions from the public about their character and the time period without ever breaking character.

This is a contracted position; hours are flexible and vary throughout the year based on scheduled opening times and contractor availability. Applicants are asked to commit to at least 16 hours a week. Contractors are responsible for paying their own taxes.

Physical resemblance to the character is a plus, but not required.

For the upcoming season, TSPF requires Character Interpreters to portray Captain John Paul Jones.

Captain John Paul Jones

·      Approximately 30 years old

·      Brown hair tied back in a queue (a wig may be worn)

·      Scottish accent

·      Self-assured to the point of conceit


For the first season, Captain Jones will will regale visitors with a short story about one of his adventures aboard Providence and answer any questions they might have. He will also assist passengers in boarding the ship via the gangway and descending the ladder to the main deck.

Character Interpreters will also answer visitor questions.

Through 2020, tours will be scheduled 30 minutes apart. After our new Visitor Center is open, tours will be scheduled 20 minutes apart during peak tour seasons and 30 minutes apart during slower seasons.

Character Interpreters will be expected to:

·      Memorize scripted information as well as background material about their character, the ship, and the time period

·      Engage visitors in a polite and appropriate manor while remaining in character

·      Pose for pictures if requested (we will refer to cameras and phones as “portrait boxes”)

·      Complete all tasks necessary to open/secure the ship

·      Schedule their hours using the app utilized by TSPF

·      Wear an authentic costume provided by TSPF.


·      At least 21 years of age

·      Acting or improv experience

·      Able to memorize scripts and large amounts of background information

·      Able to repeat the same script numerous times without letting it become rote

·      Patience with visitors

·      Able to arrive as early as 8:30 a.m. and/or leave as late as 9:30 p.m.

·      Reliable transportation

Additional information:

Providence will be moored in a temporary location through 2020, giving our staff limited access to restroom facilities. Interpreters will be expected to adapt to these circumstances with good humor and the understanding that the situation is temporary.

This is a contracted position; applicants must commit to a minimum of 16 hours per week. Please indicate how many hours a week you are able to work in your cover letter.

Pay is $20/hour. Contractors are responsible for recording their hours and submitting invoices to TSPF twice monthly. TSPF issues checks on the 15th and the last work day of the month; checks are issued electronically and will lag by one pay cycle.

Hours are flexible and vary with the season. Please see for the current schedule.

Paid, mandatory training will take place shortly after hiring; exact date to be determined. Additional training on ship and passenger safety will also be scheduled. Attendance is required at all training days.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Successful applicants will be provided with a script to present. Interviews/auditions will be held in Old Town Alexandria.

The Tall Ship Providence Foundation is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or disability status. However, the ship can only be accessed via a multi-step gangway and additional access to the ship is via ladders and very narrow stairs. Applicants must have the physical mobility to board and move about the ship without difficulty multiple times throughout the workday.



March 7, 2020 – December 31, 2020





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