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The Shackleton Experience



This 90 minute, 2 hour, or 3 hour fully interactive theatrical event is presented as a 1921 Press Conference with Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. This true story of incredible ingenuity, courage, tenacity and bold leadership is nothing short of inspiring. A brilliant piece of theater, The Shackleton Experience illuminates one of the great crisis leadership cases of all time.

A complete theatrical setting includes more than 100 original photographs from the expedition as well as artifacts, snow shoes, dog-sled tackle, and other simulated equipment from the ill-fated ship “Endurance”.

Your executive students, managers, program participants and guests portray the journalists who ask the questions. Each question highlights a specific challenge situation during the expedition, and each answer illuminates a leadership lesson that can be applied to almost any business issue existing today. The second half of the presentation features an “open forum”, where participants can ask questions of their own devising about leadership, adversity, risk, failure, teamwork, or anything at all regarding the expedition and the men who experienced it.


The event begins as audience members enter the main presentation room where they are greeted by Seaman Timothy McCarthy of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Incredible music fills the room as the conferees find their seats. In the main staging area, viewers see a theatrical setting including a sea-weathered table containing navigational maps, sextants and compasses. Snow-shoes and dog-sled tackle are collected on the right side of the stage and a union jack flag hangs from the pipe and drape. At the tables where the audience is seated are name tents which identify audience members and the publications they represent. For example, one sepia-toned name tent might read: “David Jones, The Atlanta Times Examiner”.

After an official welcome from Seaman McCarthy, Sir Ernest Shackleton is introduced and the interview begins. McCarthy instructs specific members of the audience to stand and ask pre-determined questions when it is their turn. Each question is relevant to a particular incredible part of the expedition and a specific leadership message, and is supported by a number of spectacular original photographs and original music. Sir Ernest focuses many of his responses on the fact that his ship’s roster was a diverse collection of explorers, sailors and scientists who came from all over the world to form one of the most extraordinary maritime teams in history, a team that overcame the most incredible odds known to man.

Once the eight scripted questions have been asked and answered, the press conference becomes an “open forum”, where participants can ask any question at all on the subject of leadership or the expedition itself. This ‘free-form’ section of the presentation normally reveals the most applicable lessons in bold, transformational leadership from the great Antarctic explorer. The presentation closes with an uplifting and inspiring message from Sir Ernest regarding the possibilities for the future.


• Presentation Room with Power Point Capability
• Holding Area for Three Actors
• Sound System with CD Capability
• Directional Lighting if Available
• Power Point Data Screen & Projector


• Names of Eight Audience Volunteers


• Name Tents for Participants (Provided)
• Questions for Participants (Provided)
• Pads and Pencils for Participants
• Pipe & Drape (Provided)
• Sound System (CD Capable)
• Power Point Data Screen & Projector


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