Hank Fincken: A National Theatre Company of One

a CILC Content Provider

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                                   SO YOU KNOW

I’m still performing, but I’ve had to adapt. At this point, no
one is booking in-person live Theatre. So, I do virtual
presentations. To keep it exciting, I perform an excerpt from each
play, discuss the research, and answer your questions. It’s a
performance, a workshop, and an adaptation to your unique interests.

GOOD NEWS FOR YOU: It’s cheaper. Since I usually work through
CILC, I give them a block-booking discount. That discount is for
you. And there’s another discount if you book a second
presentation the same day. Call it the family discount. That means
it’s your turn to do the dishes.

CILC is a virtual learning network. I have received 8 of their
national Pinnacle Awards. The judges are customers from the previous
year, 7 questions that must result in at least a 95% OUTSTANDING
evaluation. My mother never endorsed me with such a score.

LET’S TALK NITTY-GRITTY: I can perform in English and Spanish.
For years, school, colleges, and libraries have said they want
programs that appeal to their Latinx students. So, why didn’t they
call me? Either they found me too expensive or too white. This past
July I taught Theatre in Spanish in Ecuador for the fifth year in a
row. Am I a native speaker? No, but my Spanish is good enough to
tell bad jokes and get the job done. I inspire. In addition, I
lived in Peru and Costa Rica for 6 years.

LET’S TALK DIRTY: All my characters are controversial. That’s
why I chose them. I wanted to have meaty discussions about things
that matter. I will not be preaching simple answers, but I will help
you better understand complex questions. For example, if you think
Christopher Columbus and Francisco Pizarro are horrific men, then you
are simplifying the past the same way White America used to do. If
you want complex history, book me. If you want comfortable history
with easy to identify good guys and bad, please don’t. Don’t you
want to know the “whys” behind their behavior so you don’t
replicate their footsteps?? Hey, CC is not your lazy
brother-in-law! You can also see here that I refuse to let humor
with all its destructive powers creep into my program.

WHAT HASN’T CHANGED. My research is excellent. All my scripts
have been fact-checked by college professors, not college students.
I will present the most accurate history I can (and disregard faddish
history when possible), which provides soul-searchingful insight
about the past and hope for the future. I encourage thought-provoking
questions and will try to avoid only demonizing and stereotyping.

DON’T BELIEVE ME: Ask a tough question. Give me your best shot.   

Hank’s grandfather
used to say, “Go Back far enough and every successful family begins with a
horse thief. “ Then let’s take it as a given: All historical characters have
serious flaws, just like you and me.  Hank’s
goal in representing famous people from history is not to explore a rosy past
but rather to better understand mistakes while keeping in mind noble intentions
and achievements.  Of my eight original
one-man historical plays, six are appropriate for your venue. 

For thirty
years, Hank has presented historical plays with a bite.  He wants the audience to understand that the
past was as complex as the present and the only way to improve this inherited
culture of ours is to honestly discuss virtues and flaws.   No two performances are the same because all
Hank’s plays are interactive, and they evolve according to the interests of
each audience.  In one play, the main
character says, “The History you get depends on the questions you ask.”

provides award-winning study guides.  If
the audience (student or adult) comes prepared, Hank can go deeper into the
material.  Hank interprets prepared
students as a sign that the teacher is as committed to the success of the
presentation as he is.  Hank speaks to a
venue representative long before he arrives to make sure he covers the issues
that the teachers and/or audience think are important. 

Hank has added a new STEM component to all his plays. Details
about this, and how his programs meet state standards, are available upon


Indiana Arts Commission gave him the title of Master Artist, and the Indiana
Theatre Association gave him its Service Award for promoting Theatre throughout
the state.  He has performed all across
this nation and in Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, and Spain.  In the summer of 2019, Hank received his
seventh national Pinnacle Award for his teaching of History and Creative
Writing through video conferencing.  






Honorable Mention


Honorable Mention




Honorable Mention



Programs by Hank Fincken: A National Theatre Company of One

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1849: There's Gold in California, I promise

During the last year of his life, J. G. Bruff was punished five times for arriving five minutes late to his twelve-hour/day Washington DC job. The year was 1889 and Bruff was 84-years-old. So, why should you care?Because in 1849, this same man...


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Christopher Columbus: The Shame in the Glory

Columbus has just returned from "Japan" and shares with The Spanish Court (program participants) all he has learned. The Court is permitted to ask Columbus questions about himself or the trip. Mr. Fincken will also discuss the other voyages and...


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CREATIVE WRITING (Traditional Genres: Tall Tales, Myths, Fables and Legends

What makes a tall tale a tall tale, a myth a myth? Why does writing riddles help students better understand poetry and why does writing poetry help students write better prose? Why are drafts and rewriting essential to the writing process? In...


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FICTION and NON FICTION (Learning to Write Well and Read Better)

In this discussion/performance workshop, students discuss the differences between writing fiction and non fiction. The program will be customized depending on the specific needs of the student audience. Hank will give a dramatic reading of his...


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Henry Ford: Driving Force in America

Henry Ford did not begin the automobile industry, but his insights about consumers and manufacturing changed the world as we know it. He was a complex man in a complex time and to judge him you must know something about his background, the world...


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Johnny Appleseed: Cutting to the Core

Johnny Appleseed tells you about his importance on the western frontier. Along the way, he will share funny stories based on his life and experiences. This program is highly interactive. Mr. Fincken has been portraying Johnny for over 20 years...


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Thomas Alva Edison: Man vs Myth

Thomas Alva Edison:  MORE THAN JUST THE LIGHT BULBStarting this winter and all next spring, Hank has added a new dimension to his program on Edison.  With new props and new ideas, Edison can talk about his youth, his first inventions, his many...


More About This Provider

Type of Organization

Independent Provider of Content


Hank Fincken   hankfincken@gmail.com
6303 Evanston Avenue
Indianapolis IN 46220
United States


Primary Disciplines

The programs of Hank Fincken: A National Theatre Company of One cover:

Career Education
Foreign/World Languages
Language Arts/English
Performing Arts
Professional Development
Social Studies/History

Awards, Quotes, Testimonials

"I think your portrayal of my great grandfather, Thomas A. Edison, would make him proud." David Edward Edison Sloane
The University of New Haven

"Your portrayal of Columbus was factual, enlightening and challenging."
Liz Sowell
Imagination Celebration
Fort Worth, Texas

"I feel it was a unique learning experience to be involved with a person who re-enacts anothers life. He was so knowledgeable and effecient that at the end some of my children asked was it really Thomas Edison."
Elementary Educator New York