Conference Closeup: A Change in the Schedule

by Kate Nixon


We have a change to report in our schedule of the 33rd National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Annette Baldwin will not be able to perform as Jane Addams on Friday evening of the National Arts and Crafts Conference as previously scheduled. However, the stage in the Grove Park Inn’s heritage ballroom will not go unused as another historical portrayal will take place on Friday, February 21st instead. A portrayal of the iconic architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright will be performed by historical actor Bob Gleason of the American Historical Theater.


Historical portrayal actor Bob Gleason as Frank Lloyd Wright.


Bob Gleason has a degree in Theatre Arts from West Chester University. He has performed on stage, screen, television, radio, and in opera and ballet (Peter and the Wolf). While serving in the U.S. Army he toured Europe with the 7th Army Soldiers Chorus.

Mr. Gleason first joined the American Historical Theatre as James Wilson in 1991 with his previous experience in portraying figures like Abraham Lincoln for the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge since 1985. In-depth historical research and audience interactivity have become hallmarks of Mr. Gleason’s historical portrayals and he credits his work with the American Historical Theatre as a turning point in his personal and professional life.


Frank Lloyd Wright (left) and the historical actor Bob Gleason (right) as Frank Lloyd Wright.


Bob has presented programs featuring nearly 150 historical figures, stretching over 2000 years of history. These programs have taken him from Washington D.C. to San Diego, California, and from El Paso, Texas to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (21 states, so far). He has performed at the White House Visitors Center, The Smithsonian Institution, Constitution Hall, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Ford’s Theatre, Independence Hall, The National Constitution Center, The Union League of Philadelphia, Valley Forge National Park, Federal Hall in NYC, numerous historic sites, and a long list of schools, libraries and other venues public and private. He lives near Lansdale, PA with his wife of 35+ years, and a large stock of costumes, props, and books.

For those of you who were looking forward to the portrayal of Annette Baldwin’s Jane Addams, fear not: Baldwin will return to the National Arts and Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn in February of 2021 to portray Jane Addams.