They Knew They Were Pilgrims

The 17th Century Adventures of Plimoth Plantation's Colonial Interpreters

Speak for yourself, John!

April 19th, 2014 by Alexandra

If there’s anyone who knows how hard it is to stay hip to the newest technology, it’s us Pilgrims.  When we’re in the 1627 English Village or on Mayflower II we try not to keep up with the times, but not everyone at Plimoth Plantation has that luxury.  In fact, our very own Plimoth Cinema needs to upgrade to a digital projector – and fast!  Many of the movies the Cinema would like to show are only available in digital format, meaning that without this new projection system the very future of the Cinema is in doubt.

The other problem? Going digital is expensive! So we’re asking for your help – visit Plimoth Cinema’s Kickstarter page and please make a donation if you’re able. Our goal is to raise at least $25,000 of the $48,000 needed for a new digital projection system, so every little bit helps!  And the Kickstarter campaign only lasts until May 3, 2014, so make haste!

In honor of our friends at Plimoth Cinema we here at They Knew They Were Pilgrims have made a short film loosely (exceptionally loosely!) based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1858 poem The Courtship of  Miles Standish for your viewing pleasure.  For those not down with the latest trends in 19th century literature, The Courtship of Miles Standish tells the love story of Mayflower passengers John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, who fall in love even though John’s friend Miles Standish has asked John to court Priscilla on his behalf (If you want more detail you could read the long narrative poem yourself…or just watch the Wishbone version).  The historical accuracy of the poem is um, debatable – Longfellow was an Alden descendant and claimed the poem was based on a family story – but it sure makes a good tale that many museum visitors still ask about to this day.

We’ll never know if Priscilla really did tell John to “speak for yourself,” but in the meantime help yourself to TKTWP’s own version of Longfellow’s story.  And again, please donate to Plimoth Cinema’s Kickstarter campaign if you can, because as you’ll watch our heroes discover, upgrading from the old to the new really does make everything come up like sunshine, lollipops and rainbows!

A special thanks to everyone who helped make this video, especially Courtney Roy-Branigan for giving us the impetus to make it, our bosses for being accommodating, the Wardrobe Department for lending us the perfect Evil Villain Cape, Erica Morris for letting us borrow the biggest teddy bear she owned, Doug Blake for being a late night film editing champion, and our dear coworkers who didn’t hesitate when we asked them to make fools of themselves on camera. You’re the best!


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6 Responses to “Speak for yourself, John!”

  1. Buddy says:

    Great stuff, guys!!!

  2. Stacy says:

    Thanks guys. I choked on my toast at the end.

    That was awesome!

  3. Sam Fuller '14 aka Ray Byrne says:

    Well done, Guys.

  4. Kate says:

    Good job! Loved the “comic relief”!

  5. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for the kind words everyone! Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Atlas Laster says:

    Shavua tov all, and the vignette was very well done! There’s still a smile on my face.

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