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Eleanor Roosevelt: Across a Barrier of Fear
The Old Church
Portland, OR
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A compelling and intimate portrayal of one of the most influential women of the 20th century.  The play follows Eleanor from lonely, neglected childhood to the world stage.

You will learn how this awkward girl, ignored by her glamorous, self-absorbed high-society parents, overcame her shy, withdrawn, fear-filled existence to become a political powerhouse and equal partner with her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

We trace her life through school and her growing awareness of the world. Through her eyes, we witness the political rise of FDR, whom she marries at 20.  We hear her inner thoughts on parenting, her husband's polio and infidelities, and on stepping across the fear to become a champion of those who cannot champion for themselves. You will have a front-row seat to the compelling story of one woman's transformation from shy girl to world leader.

Following the performance, audience members will be invited to continue with an after-show discussion with actress Jane VanBoskirk. You can ask questions and share personal memories or perceptions about Eleanor Roosevelt in a "Talk Back."  From Janes website: Many audience members have personal memories of this woman who was a prominent figure in American life for much of the 20th century, some of them quite dramatic. To others, she is a page from a history book or an image from a documentary. The Roosevelts still stir up passionate argument to this day, but few are untouched by or indifferent to their legacy.  

Eleanor is portrayed by Jane VanBoskirk in this play by Sharon Whitney.  Performing for the past 40 years, researching and portraying women in history has been her passion. This performance is particularly relevant and compelling as more and more women are entering the political arena and the world stage.

Proceeds benefit the Portland AAUWs Portland Community College Scholarship Fund for women reentering college in STEM fields.
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The Old Church (View)
1422 SW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97201
United States


Arts > Performance

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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