New for 2018 ONLY!

Illinois at 200

Take one part history, one part storytelling, and one part trivia game, add
prizes and what to you get? William Pack returns with a once in 200 years
chance to celebrate the bicentennial of Illinois. Guaranteed to be fun,
informative, with a little dash of William’s love for the odd and unusual.

The Essential Houdini

The true sNeedlesSMtories of Houdini  the American self-liberator, Europe’s eclipsing sensation, World’s handcuff king, Exposer of fraud, Original prison breaker, and Master magician. He is inspiration to generations of children who dare to dream of the impossible. William goes beyond the myth and bring to life the true story of this American icon. This program is suitable for Teens, Adults, and Families with older children and uses some audience participation.

GASP at the story of his remarkable death.

 RELIVE his baffling magic and escapes.


“The show was fascinating, informative, and astounding. More than a few of the teens have asked for the same show back. That has NEVER happened before.” Susan Locander, North Riverside Library

The Essential P.T. Barnum


Years before he revolutionized the circus, P.T. Barnum was the most famous man in the world. William reveals the amazing life of P.T. Barnum through storytelling and recreations of historical sideshow performances.

HEAR the life lessons that shaped this great American showman, MEET the extraordinary people that changed his life, and EXPERIENCE the wonders of his American museum. This program is best for Teens and Adults.

“William was, in a word, SPECTACULAR.” –Tiernen Peacy-Dye, Shorewood-Troy Library

      The Discovery of Magic

BillpromoSMWilliam, “The Chicago Magic Expert,” cracks open his magic history scrapbooks to reveal a secret world of colorful characters, amusing adventures, and arcane knowledge.

MEET astonishing magicians who made the impossible possible. EXPLORE incredible behind-the-scenes stories that most never hear and your audiences will never forget. WONDER at recreations of the baffling magic tricks behind the stories.

This program has been designed for Teens, Adults, and Familes with older children and uses lots of audience participation.

“One of the best programs the library has ever presented.” – Todd Morning, Director, Bartlett Library

The Essential Great Chicago Fire

Fire MapIt started in a barn and, two days of flaming hell later, nearly destroyed a city.

In The Essential Great Chicago Fire, William weaves together technical details of the fire with vivid firsthand accounts from those who lived through the conflagration of 1871, bringing alive all the excitement and terror in a multi-media storytelling event that will not soon be forgotten.

This is storytelling with powerpoint and physical displays, suitable for Teens, Adults, and Familes with older children.

“Our patrons were absolutely transfixed by William Pack’s Essential Chicago Fire program. Not only as the visual presentation stunning, but William’s oration of different survivor’s accounts was audibly mesmerizing.” – Judy Tichacek, Green Hills Public Library


The Essential Edgar Allan Poe

In The Essential Edgar Allan Poe, William  exhumes the tragic life and remarkable writings of this American genius. This program relies heavily on dramatic storytelling and story readings that bring Poe’s disturbing world to life.

This storytelling performance is best suited for teens and adults.

“William’s skill as a storyteller had us spellbound.” -Eileen Gallagher, Barrington Area Library


The Essential Christmas CarolCharles_Dickens-A_Christmas_Carol- William_Pack

Destined to become a holiday tradition. In this storytelling lecture, William, using a script derived from Dickens’ 1867 abridged reading copy, will perform a reading of A Christmas Carol enhanced with a modern recreation of a magic lantern slide show popular during Dickens’ lifetime.  Then, in a Q&A, he can relate the curious origins the story. 

This popular all ages program that books up to 8 months in advance. 


Prairie Poetry,

Four Essential Illinois Poets

PrairiePoetsWilliamPackWilliam celebrates the lives and works of four essential Illinois poets, Vachel Lindsay, Edgar Lee Masters, Carl Sandburg, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Hear the stories of their lives; select poetry readings, including audio recordings of the actual poets reading their works. Each revolutionary in their time, yet vitally relevant and fresh today, their poetry challenges convention and illuminates universal truths.

Vachel Lindsay, known as the Prairie Troubadour, traveled hundreds of miles on foot trading his poems for food and lodging. Edgar Lee Masters revealed the truth and secrets of small town life in his Spoon River Anthology. President LBJ observed, “Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America.” Sandburg was the bridge between the small town and the growing metropolis. Gwendolyn Brooks was the poet of the urban experience. She gave voice to the disenfranchised and earned acclaim for her textured portraits of life in Bronzeville.

                            Mind Games

A Night of Self DeceptionWilliam Pack Mind Games

Our brain decides how we perceive everything around us. It finds patterns and solves problems efficiently, except for when it lies to us. In this engaging program, William explores the real science of how our brains trick us into seeing and believing things that don’t exist. 

In the program, you’ll experience how optical illusions work, why magicians’ tricks fool you, why people fall for scams, and how we make thousands of choices every day, this includes how we are hard wired to believe fake news, medical scams, etc. William will also give the attendees  proven, scientific, actionable techniques to preserve brain health and overcome the logical fallacies we all make.

At the end, you may be left wondering if your brain has a mind of its own.

This Powerpoint and interactive program is for teens and adult.