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Civil War explored through 'A Feminine View'

Photo by Contributed Photo, Contributed

Emma Palzere-Rae will portray Harriet Beecher Stowe as part of a Civil War lecture series at the New Canaan Historical Society.

The New Canaan Historical Society is presenting the three-part lecture series "The Civil War: A Feminine View," which coincides with Women's History Month and focuses on extraordinary women and the roles they played in the Civil War.

The first in the series is "Aunt Hattie's House-Harriet Beecher Stowe" at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the historical society, 13 Oenoke Ridge. In this one-woman show, Emma Palzere-Rae portrays Stowe and explores what drove her -- a working mother in the 19th century -- to write "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Palzere-Rae has been performing "Aunt Hattie's House" since 2000 when it premiered in the Missouri Humanities Council's touring Civil War Chautauqua. Her more than 20-year career incorporates working in all areas of professional theater including performance, artistic administration, playwrighting and producing. She founded Be Well Productions in 1989, bringing one-woman historical portrayals to schools, libraries and community organizations. She is the director of development for the Women's Center of Southeastern Connecticut.

The second lecture, on Thursday, March 13, is "They Called Me Lizzy" with Stephanie Jackson portraying Elizabeth Keckly and her journey from slave to the White House as dressmaker to Mary Todd Lincoln.

On Thursday, March 20, Dione Longley will describe how Connecticut women created the nation's first Soldiers' Aid Society in her lecture "If I Could Only Go Too."

Janet Lindstrom, executive director of the historical society, said, "The lecture series, which started in 2010, has focused on different aspects of the Civil War and Connecticut's, and often New Canaan's, involvement. `A Feminine View' offers a unique glimpse of an often-overlooked aspect of the Civil War."

Tickets are $5 for members of the society, Staying Put New Canaan and students and $10 for nonmembers. For information, visit nchistory.org or call 203-977-1776.

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