Tames Alan is an actress, historian, and fashion history teacher who has combined her skills to create Living History Lectures for people of all ages. Since 1986, she has been touring her programs throughout the United States and Canada, where she is known for her in-depth research and lively presentation style. In the Northwest, she is the most popular speaker in the history of the Washington Commission for the Humanities’ Inquiring Mind program and has received several grants from WCH to tour her programs to rural and underserved areas of Washington state.
Over the years, she has created a series of one-woman historically accurate costumed programs that are educational entertainment. These are fun cultural events for general audiences, as well as good cultural background programs for elementary through college-level students. They cover the life, customs, and clothing from several ancient cultures through the 1920’s.
Tames has had a passion for dance all of her life and has trained and performed in a variety of dance styles all over the West Coast. Throughout her performing career, she danced with the Oregon State Ballet, Newcastle English Country Dancers, the Veil of Isis Dancers (Middle Eastern with an emphasis on modern Egyptian), Elliott Bay Morris Dancers, and the Ballard Locks Long Sword Team. Currently she and her husband dance with Dance Driven, a ballroom dance formation team. Tames worked for many years with the California Renaissance Faire as a dancer and an instructor in Elizabethan dialect and culture.
In addition to the above programs, Tames is also a recognized food historian and offers a series of programs that give entertaining insight into what and how people ate in the past. Her program Trial by Fork: Formal Victorian Dining Demystified, was hired by the Museum on Main Street program sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute.
Tames studied theatre and history at Willamette University in Oregon and theatre at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Dell Arte School in California. For many years, she taught fashion history at the Art Institute of Seattle, offering a class that combined fashion history, social history, and women’s studies. She is a historical consultant to museums, libraries, and historical festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Tames and her husband live on a working farm in the beautiful Puget Sound region of the Northwest. They enjoy creating fun and fabulous meals, playing with their two cats, and teaching ballroom dance.