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History Comes Alive series to feature Eleanor Roosevelt

WELLSBORO – Eleanor Roosevelt, one of the most fascinating and influential public figures of the 20th century, will be on stage at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, 104 Main St.

Leslie Goddard, an award-winning actress and scholar, will portray 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.

Goddard began portraying famous women 20 years ago. “I developed my portrayal of Eleanor in 2014. Her struggles in life resonate with audiences,” she said. “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.

For more information or to buy tickets, call 570-724-6220.