Howard as “Christian Fleetwood,” Civil War soldier

Sometimes, recent grad Roderick Howard II ’10, acting and media communications studies, just isn’t himself.

But, that’s the life of an actor — especially one, like Howard, who portrays multiple roles with the Maryland Historical Society Players. One day he’s Christian Fleetwood, a free black man who fought in the Civil War and received a Medal of Honor for bravery. The next he’s Charles Ball, a sailor in the War of 1812.

Howard loves bringing history to life. He and other MHS Players were profiled in a recent story in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. Read it here.

For Howard, who has been with MHS since 2011 and who recently took on additional duties as a teacher for school programs, especially at the elementary and middle school level, it is exciting to teach as an actor.

“I enjoy the people I work with; the opportunity to expand my knowledge in American history, especially Maryland history; and the honor to portray a historical figure (Fleetwood) who, hopefully, will become even more of a well-known figure amongst those who consider Maryland to be their home, especially African-Americans,” said Howard.

“I also enjoy the opportunity to interact with visitors of the Maryland Historical Society and audiences of our outreach performances. It’s always a pleasure to hear how much they enjoy our performances and/or tours; how interested and knowledgeable they are with history; and stories about how historical events have directly impacted their lives or their loved ones.”

And the job has proved just as educational for Howard, he says.

“My work there has certainly opened my eyes. As an African-American, I have grown an even greater appreciation for those before me, who proudly and willing fought for the liberties and freedoms of America, despite being denied those same liberties and freedoms in their own country.”

Read more about the Maryland Historical Society Players and their schedule of appearances here.

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