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Released March 15, 2005



HATTIESBURG – Carolyn Gage, a lesbian-feminist playwright, performer, director and social activist, will conduct a free workshop on historical impersonation on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre at The University of Southern Mississippi. She will also give a free one-woman performance of her work while in Hattiesburg.

Sponsored by the Committee on Services and Resources for Women, "Historical Impersonation" will combine a performance of dramatic highlights from some of Gage's plays with hands-on exercises in writing monologues and structuring the one-woman play for stage.

"Gage's workshop will be of interest to many in the community, especially theatre students and faculty, writers, historians, and lesbians and gays," said Southern Miss political science professor Dr. Kate Greene, who is co-chair of the Committee on Services and Resources for Women. "I hope that everyone will want to come out to learn from a woman whose work has been described as 'a combined dose of Karl Marx, Betty Friedan and triple espresso.' It should be one exciting evening in Hattiesburg, Mississippi."

Gage, of Portland, Maine, is the author of four books on lesbian theatre and 47 plays, musicals and one-woman shows. She specializes in nontraditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. She tours in a one-woman show about a feminist Joan of Arc, and she has written plays about Calamity Jane, Harriet Tubman, "Typhoid Mary," Louisa May Alcott, Jane Addams, and Sappho.

While in Hattiesburg, Gage will also perform her award-winning, one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, at Sister Camp, the annual fund-raiser for the feminist educational retreat Camp Sister Spirit on March 26.

Gage's visit to Hattiesburg is also a great opportunity to promote the Southern Miss Women's Studies Program, Greene said. "Jeanne Gillespie (director of Women's Studies at Southern Miss) and I have discussed working with the Mississippi Humanities Council on a second Women's Chautauqua, where scholars travel the state educating citizens through historical impersonations of Mississippi women," said Greene. "Learning about historical monologues will be of great help to us in creating a second Women's Chautauqua."

Greene portrayed Judge Burnita Shelton Matthews in the first Women's Chautauqua in 1996. She was joined in that endeavor by Martha Swain of Mississippi State University, who portrayed Ellen Woodward, along with Elizabeth Sarcone of Delta State University, who played Nellie Nugent Somerville.

For more information about the workshop, contact Greene at (601) 266-5834 or via e-mail at


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April 13, 2005 3:04 PM