Actresses Give Voice to 'Women in History'
An idea for a fashion show in vintage clothing 26 years ago launched a group dedicated to sharing the stories of strong women from the past.
Women in History, a group of 10 local actresses, performs more than 100 characterizations of women.
They cover the “famous, infamous and obscure,” said Vernice Jackson, the non-profit’s president.
“It’s not just telling details about women everyone knows about, like Susan B. Anthony,” she said. “It’s also talking about women that most people haven’t heard their names, like Mary Elizabeth Bowser, who was a spy in the Confederate White House during the Civil War.”
They perform everywhere from libraries to corporations, and over the years they have traveled out of the state and country in character.
The founder, Sophie Dadas, had a vintage clothing collection from her time working at a historical society in Cincinnati. When she moved to Lakewood she was asked to do a fashion show, and that’s when the idea was born to do something more, Jackson said.
The actresses research the women and develop costumes to fit the roles. But memorized lines and outfits aside, the portrayals give voice to women from the past and teach others along the way.
“Whatever put [the women] in the history book is not something they decided at a very early age,” Jackson said. “It is about these women stepping up and saying, ‘this is the right thing to do,’ and they did it and were successful.”