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Christopher Columbus: The Shame in the Glory

from Hank Fincken: A National Theatre Company of One

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Mr. Fincken's goal is never to condemn the past but rather to understand it. For that reason, he begins this program with Columbus at his most successful moment,just after returning from what he believes is Japan. Columbus makes fun of the doubters and praises the Indians, but even during this happy time, 1493, there are reasons to doubt all is as it seems. Mr. Fincken then shares some slides of The Dominican Republic and Spain (where he did his research) and a map of the world as Columbus would have envisioned it. Participants will have several opportunities to talk to the successful Columbus and to Mr. Fincken about the voyages and legacy of Columbus.

Mr. Fincken is fluent in Spanish and offers his programs in both Spanish and English. Programs in Spanish should be arranged by contacting Mr. Fincken first.

Ms. Mary Arnold, fifth grade teacher from Joplin MO says: "Absolutely an awesome program for students who study American History." See Mr. Fincken's website,, for more endorsements.

Program Rating

   based on 29 evaluation(s).

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About This Program


By Request: $250.00

Schedule this program before 6/30/2018 and receive a $25 discount.


For 4th-5th grades, 45 min. 6-12th grades 1 hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12Public Library: Library Patrons Retirement Communities

Minimum participants:

No Minimum

Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 50 students.

Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History, Foreign/World Languages, Language Arts/English, Performing Arts, Sciences, Technology/Information Science, Literacy, Problem Solving, Gifted & Talented

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Sites canceling the program within 72 hours notice will be charged half the regular fee unless the cancellation is weather related. Please remember I lose a full day whenever you cancel. Thank you.

About This Provider

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Hank Fincken: A National Theatre Company of One

Indianapolis, IN
United States

A spell-binding wordsmith, Hank Fincken has the distinction of being named Master Artist by the Indiana Arts Commission and given the Achievement and Service Award by the Indiana Theatre Association. Mr. Fincken has written and produced 12 original plays, published 25 stories, and tours the country with 8 original one-man plays.

Mr. Fincken's programs are available in Spanish.  He has won 6 Pinnacle Awards for his various programs on writing and History.

Hank Fincken

Program Details


The program is a first-person presentation of Christopher Columbus.
1. Hank as Hank shows slides of his research in Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Dominican Republic.
2.Columbus discusses his first voyage with audience, who pretends to be the Spanish Royal court in 1493.
3. Participants ask Columbus questions.
4. Columbus shares a map of his journey and discusses his 1492 findings and the technology of his day..
5. Mr. Fincken steps out of character and discusses the difference between Columbus's answers and what historians have since learned about the journey.
6. Students and teachers then ask Columbus himself anything they want to know about all 4 voyages.
7. New, new, New. Mr. Fincken can, upon request, conclude with a role playing game. Mr. Fincken asks the students to get into Columbus's shoes and persuade King Fernando (Hank) to support his venture.

Some of this will change according to the needs of the teacher and/or audience.


1. Participants will begin to understand Columbus' contribution to world and American history.

2. Participants will explore the controversies surrounding the voyages and character of Christopher Columbus.

3. Participants will become more critical in determining the difference between fact and fiction.

4. Students and actor discuss the Columbian Exchange of foods, plants, animals, and disease.

5. Hank/Columbus can discuss technology of 1500.

6. Students will begin to understand the difference between having a good idea and getting others committed to its conclusion.

7. Students will see the role of risk in any scientific or artistic venture.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

As a result of activities in grades K-12, all students should understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
As a result of activities in grades K-12, all students should
Understand how to apply geography to interpret the past.
Understands major discoveries in science and technology, some of their social and economic effects, and the major scientists and inventors responsible for them
The student in grades 5-12 should understand how the transoceanic interlinking of all major regions of the world from 1450 to 1600 led to global transformations.

State Standards

Social Studies
Trace the major land and water routes of European explorers of the Caribbean Sea region and North America, and examine their individual stories and reasons for exploration.
5.1.6 Identify European nations that sponsored major expeditions. Examples: Spanish expeditions by Christopher Columbus
5.1.7 Explain the religious, political, and economic reasons for European exploration and colonization, and describe the competition to establish colonies and trade routes.
6.1.11 Analyze the interconnections of people, places, and events in the economic, scientific, and cultural exchanges that led to the European Renaissance and voyages of discovery.
WH.7 Worldwide Exploration, Conquest, and Colonization, 1450 to 1750 Examine the causes, events, and consequences of European worldwide exploration, conquest, and colonization from 1450 to 1750.
WH.7.1 Explain the causes and conditions of worldwide voyages of exploration and discovery by expeditions from Portugal, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands.
WH.7.2 Explain the origins, developments, main events, and consequences of European overseas expansion through conquest and colonization.
WH.7.3 Explain how European nations achieved dominance in the Americas.
8.1 History Students will examine the relationship and significance of themes, concepts, and movements in the development of United States history, including review of key ideas related to the discovery, exploration, and colonization of America, the revolution and founding era.
8.4.1 Identify economic factors contributing to the European and exploration colonization in North America