Augustin Fresnel: Through A New Lens is a Living History portrayal of one man’s fascination with “finding the solution to the many questions in that inexhaustible range of science.” His journey reveals a lifetime of personal challenges, scientific curiosity, and innovative achievements. Fresnel's courage and perseverance, along with guidance from his mentor, Francois Arago, unfolds in an engaging story that brings to life Augustin Fresnel's personal legacy of "illuminating the seas, saving lives and creating new light in new venues yet to come."
Performance is 35 - 40 minutes followed by a Q&A/audience discussion
Inventor of the Fresnel lens for lighthouses throughout the world.
Lilac Preservation Project 90th Anniversary - October 2023
2023 Michigan Lighthouse Festival - August
Outer Banks Lighthouse Society 2023 Keepers Weekend - April
(made possible in part with a grant from North Carolina Humanities)
Friends of Pomham Rocks Lighthouse - Rhode Island Nov. 2022
"Theatre, History and the Lighthouses of Long Island" May 2022 (Zoom)
American Lighthouse Foundation Gala - May 2022
Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society - Nov. 2021
"Theatre, History and the Lighthouses of Long Island" Oct. 2021 (Zoom)
2021 Michigan Lighthouse Festival - Aug. 2021
"Theatre, History and the Lighthouses of Long Island" Jan. 2021 (Zoom)
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse's 150th Anniversary Dec. 2020 (video)
Florida Lighthouse Association Fall Meeting - Amelia Island October 2019
2019 Michigan Lighthouse Festival - 2019
American Lighthouse Foundation 25th Annual Gala - 2019
(made possible in part with 2018 Michigan Humanities Quick Grant)
Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society - 2017
Horton Point Lighthouse (Southold Historical Society) - 2017
New London Maritime Society/Custom House Maritime Museum - 2017
National Lighthouse Museum* (2016 DCA Art Fund Grant - Staten Island Arts) *Debut Performances
Light Hearted Podcast Interview link:
Joseph Smith as Augustin Fresnel at Fire Island Lighthouse (Photo courtesy of Leon Gurinsky)
Joseph Smith as both Francois Arago and Augustin Fresnel at the 2019 American Lighthouse Foundation's 25th Annual Gala. Video credit: Dominic Trapani
"In a performance worthy of Broadway, Joseph Smith became the character Fresnel, with drama, humor, emotion, and intensity...capturing Fresnel's early life, his education and studies, his disappointments and triumphs, Joseph engaged and enthralled the crowd with his illuminating (pun intended) performance...Remarkable and entertaining."
John Havel, OBLHS Board Member
Photo courtesy of John Havel
"Mr. Fresnel to Mr. Smith..."please tell my story." Not only has Joseph Smith done just that, his performance is so stellar and accurately portrayed that it makes one feel as if they actually have had the chance to meet and talk with Augustin Fresnel in the present. In some incredible way that words cannot adequately explain, the audience has indeed met Mr. Fresnel through such a timeless performance. Bravo Joseph Smith!"
Bob Trapani, Jr.
Executive Director, American Lighthouse Foundation
Photo courtesy of Dominic Trapani
"Joseph Smith is a magical artist who gives his portrayals in such a unique manner that he makes the audience feel that they have gone back in time! Forty five minutes of a brilliant, passionate and entertaining performance! He leaves the audience in awe and they want to hear more!"
Director, Michigan Lighthouse Festival