Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 44 – Living history performer Joseph Smith, portrayer of Augustin Fresnel

Joseph Smith as Augustin Fresnel at Montauk Lighthouse, New York, in 2018.
Photo by Donna Dimino.

Joseph Smith has been a theatrical performer based in New York City since 1995. He decided to take his love of acting and his love of history and to bring them together as a performing artist of living history. His passion is to create excitement and curiosity about history by giving voice to stories that celebrate the human spirit.

Joseph Smith as Augustin Fresnel (Photo courtesy Of Leon Gurinsky, Fire Island Lighthouse)

In recent years he has written and performed a portrayal of Augustin Fresnel, the inventor of the Fresnel lens that revolutionized lighthouse lighting. It is a portrayal of one man’s fascination with “finding the solution to the many questions in the inexhaustible range of science.”

He has performed the program, entitled Augustin Fresnel: Through a New Lens in a number of venues, including: 2019 Florida Lighthouse Association Fall Meeting; 2019 Michigan Lighthouse Festival; 2019 American Lighthouse Foundation Annual Gala; 2017 and 2018 Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society; 2018 Montauk Lighthouse; 2018 Michigan Lighthouse Alliance; Horton Point Lighthouse (Southold Historical Society); New London Maritime Society; and the National Lighthouse Museum, Staten Island, NY.

Augustin Fresnel

Of his Augustin Fresnel portrayal, Marge Ellenberger, director of the Michigan Lighthouse Festival, said, “Joseph Smith is a magical artist who gives his portrayals in such a unique manner that he makes the audience feel that they have gone back in time! He leaves the audience in awe and they want to hear more!”

Joseph Smith: Raising History website

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