Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
Alexandria Seeks New Town Crier
The City of Alexandria is searching for a new town crier, and tryouts are scheduled for early next month. Can you shout but still be understood clearly? Do you have a sense of humor that can stand up to the extremes of cold and heat? Are you available for most City-wide commemorative events? If so, you may have what it takes to be the next town crier!
For those interested in applying for this volunteer position, the Office of Historic Alexandria is hosting an information session on Thursday, September 1, at 7 p.m., at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street. Then tryouts will be held at the same location on Wednesday, September 7, at 7 p.m. The new town crier will make his or her first public appearance at the first Legislative Meeting of the Alexandria City Council on Tuesday, September 13. Town crier applicants should call Historic Alexandria at 703.746.4554 to RSVP for the September 1 information session.
Applicants must have a powerful but clear voice, a strong sense of civic pride, and a willingness to make public appearances in early 19th-century attire. Applicants must possess excellent public-speaking and writing skills, a sense of humor, and a love of children, parades, crowds and tourists. Helpful experience includes Toastmasters and activity with community theatre. The ceremonial duties of the new town crier include reading proclamations, announcing upcoming events, and acting as master of ceremonies at special events.
The City’s most recent town crier, William North-Rudin (in photo), served for five years before resigning last year to relocate out of state. One of the earliest Alexandria town criers on record is Peter Logan, an African American man who served as the town crier and on holidays as the town piper. Born into slavery, Logan purchased his freedom as well as his wife’s and children’s, and worked as a ship carpenter and later operated his own boot and shoe black business.
A City panel of judges, including members of City Council, will review applications and tryouts to make the final selection. Town crier applicants will be judged on Call Content, Clarity, Sustained Volume, and Deportment. Historic Alexandria staff will assist any potential applicant with period attire, a bell and necessary props.
For more information or to download an application, visit www.alexandriava.gov/towncrier.