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.
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.
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
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 33:02 — 26.4MB) | Embed
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org