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Thursday, August 25, 2016


For her Wellsboro performance, Leslie Goddard 
will be dressed in Eleanor’s trademark 
fur stole and wearing a 1940s vintage 
floral hat and woman’s suit.

On Friday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m., Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most fascinating and influential public figures of the twentieth century, will be on stage at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.
Leslie Goddard, an award-winning actress and scholar, portrays Eleanor, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the only United States president in history to be elected four times.

This History Comes Alive program is set in 1945 after Franklin’s death as Eleanor grapples with the question of whether or not to accept U.S. President Harry Truman’s invitation to serve on the American delegation to the new United Nations. Over tea, she shares stories of her childhood, her courtship and marriage, her volunteer work during World War I, her husband's bout with polio, the White House years, World War II, and her husband's death.

During this living history performance, Eleanor's wit and wisdom are revealed as the audience learns what a warm, honest and passionate American first lady and stateswoman she was. Following the program, the audience will be invited to talk to “Eleanor” and ask her questions.

In 2004, 12 years ago, Goddard began portraying famous women. "I developed my portrayal of Eleanor in 2014. Her struggles in life resonate with audiences. She had an awful childhood. She raised six children even though it did not come naturally to her. She struggled to shape her life with Franklin whose infidelity struck her to the core. She was an intelligent, compassionate woman and a champion of human rights.

Goddard holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University specializing in U.S. history and American studies and master’s degrees in both theater and museum studies. A former museum director, she is the author of two books on Chicago history and currently works full-time as an historical interpreter, author and public speaker.

The first time she did a living history portrayal, she worked at a historic house museum. The audience’s reaction and her own led her to begin developing portrayals of other famous women from history. “I like finding out about their beliefs and what they thought. That’s much more powerful to me than a lot of book history,” she said.

“I started doing these presentations as a sideline. It just kept growing. It got harder to hold down a full-time job so I switched to part-time work. Then, in 2013, I made the leap and I’ve been doing living history portrayals as my full-time work ever since.”

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and free for children 12 and under. Special group rates are available. FMI or tickets, call 570-724-6220.

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