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About Us

Donna Becker Donna Becker, BSN, MSN
  • Chief Executive Officer and Educational Consultant
    Donna's professional career was in psychiatric/mental health nursing administration and education. She has been a continuing education coordinator, spoken widely on end of life issues, worked in public relations and marketing, and been a volunteer board member of a retirement community, hospice and home care agency, Bethel College Women's Association, American Association of University Women, and currently a private museum
  • Graduate of the Institute for Historical Performers
  • Donna is passionate about equal rights for women, including equal pay, access to appropriate health care, and opportunities in all fields

Bonnie Johnson Bonnie Johnson, MBA, MECI, MSAE
  • Chief Financial Officer, Educational Consultant
  • Bonnie has and does participate in a full and diversified professional life as an Aeronautical Engineer, High School and college math teacher, Private Pilot and professional award winning macro photographer
  • Membership and Awards:
    1. Charter member of Women in Aeronautical Engineering
  • Bonnie Johnson is affiliated with Kansas Historical professional actors and is available for corporate and organizational first person presentation programs.

Irene Nielsen Irene Nielsen, PsyD, CNM, ChFC
  • Artistic Director and historical performer
    Irene has practiced in health, psychology, small business, and financial professions as a Certified Nurse Midwife, Professor, Entrepreneur, Registered Representative, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Chartered Financial Consultant and Certified Tea and Etiquette Consultant.
  • Veteran, Army Nurse Corps
  • At Designing Excellence, we focus intentionally on you.
    As educators and historical performers we embrace the fun of social/creative, holistic health and wellness.
  • National Activities
    • Speaker on Aging
    • Past Chair of National Storytelling Network Review and Accreditation
  • PsyD Dissertation on adversity, resiliency and well-being
  • Education completed for
    1. Washington School of Protocol
    2. Ride into History Professional, Historical Acting Intro
  • Membership and Awards:
    1. Sigma Theta Tau — Honorary Nursing
    2. Golden Key International Honor Society
    3. Veterans Salute — Service-Academic-Leadership-Unity-Tribute-Excellence
    4. Gustavus Adolphus Nursing Department — Distinguished Alumni Award, 2015
  • Irene Nielsen is a professional member of National Storytelling Network.

First Person, Historical Performances

Click here for Performances Page
  1. Abigail Adams
  2. Clara Barton
  3. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell
  4. Catherine of Braganza
  5. rachel Carson
  6. Willa Cather
  7. Queen Christina of Sweden
  8. Mamie Eisenhower
  9. Anna Freud
  10. Catherine the Great
  11. Dr. Karen Horney
  12. Mary Lincoln
  13. Dolley Madison
  14. Alice Paul
  15. Eleanor Roosevelt
  16. Dame Cicely Saunders
  17. Margaret Sanger (mature audience for historical corrections to role of family and contraceptive advocacy)
  18. Irena Sendler
  19. Nellie Taft
  20. Louise Thaden
  21. Katharine Wright Haskell
  22. Mary Breckenridge
  23. Virginia Hall (2019) American covert spy for Allies in WWII
  24. Francis Willard (2019)

  • "What an interesting way to learn history. I had no idea how important Karen Horney was to prepare for women's equality thinking almost 100 years later." - Quote from Audience

  • "I had not expected so much authentic channeling of the historical women that are performed here. The portrayed women are real in telling their life stories. I have seen Louise Thaden performed several times and find the stories are always spell-binding and fresh. Nothing is given as a memorized script. Johnson and Nielsen engage in extensive research that spotlights an authenticity as important women really lived." Phil Ciholas, Aeronautical Engineer, Wichita, KS

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