Louisiana Women, researched and written by Carolyn Woosley, is a set of thirteen monologues of actual Louisiana women who lived between the years 1742 and 2007. Each monologue is a one-woman show of approximately thirty minutes, and each attempts to explore the events, issues or values of the day through the woman’s lives. Some are well-known. Others are not known but portray their particular era. In the midst of a performance the actress often becomes other characters, sometimes male and sometimes of another race.
Summaries of the three women featured in this production:
Margaret Dixon (1908 – 1970) was the first managing editor of a major periodical (Baton Rouge Morning Advocate) in the USA. From 1938 until her death she covered every session of the Louisiana state legislature, with particular focus on Governor Earl Long and public access to political records. Dixon also led reform efforts at Angola Prison and treatment of mentally ill children and youth. Setting: Maggie’s office in the Morning Advocate, 1959.
Kate Chopin (born Katherine O’Flaherty February 8, 1850 – August 22, 1904) was an American author of short stories and novels, mostly of a Louisiana Creole background. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century. Her spare style of writing, influenced by Guy de Maupassant, foreshadowed that of many 20th century writers.
From 1892 to 1895, she wrote short stories for both children and adults which were published in such magazines as Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, The Century, and Harper’s Youth’s Companion. Her major works were two short story collections, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897). Her important short stories included “Desiree’s Baby”, a tale of miscegenation in antebellum Louisiana (published in 1893); “The Story of an Hour” (1894), and “The Storm “(1898). “The Storm” is a sequel to “The ‘Cadian Ball,” which appeared in her first collection of short stories, Bayou Folk.
Chopin also wrote two novels: At Fault (1890) and her controversial masterpiece, The Awakening (1899) which addressed issues of female individuality and sexuality. Both novels are set in New Orleans and Grand Isle, respectively. A majority of Ms. Chopin’s characters are inhabitants of Louisiana. Many of her works are set in Natchitoches in north central Louisiana.
Rosa Lucille Hart (1900-1964). Spirited first woman cheerleader in the U.S.A. as she urged on Tulane University teams during WWI, Rosa returned to hometown Lake Charles. There she cofounded and directed, in her inimitable way, the Lake Charles Little Theatre for 30 years. Set in Spring 1948 in her bedroom as she relishes the arrival of Life Magazine’s reporter for coverage of a local production that “flopped on Broadway, but it won’t flop here!”