7/24/2016

Ready to Serve Launched at the 2016 Capital Fringe

2016 Capital Fringe run of my new show Ready to Serve ended yesterday - with a sold out audience and standing applause.


What a wind-up! Lots to remember. Rather than write it out I am using a few Tweets and Face Book posts to tell the story of this year's Fringe.




 Pleased to have an article published on the World War One Centennial Commission website - telling about the development of my WWI stories, the Hello Girls and Ready to Serve and promising another story to complete the trilogy, Over There.
 


 This tweet quotes the words of a wounded
soldier being cared for in Base Hospital 18. His "thank you" was music to the nurses ears.
 In my work I flesh out the stories of unknown characters and bring them to life. People often thank me for it -"they were so real I could see them."





There is a wonderful Christmas image in Ready to Serve from a nurse's letter -
"The room was filled with the smell of the fresh cut tree and the men were smiling."
 
The photos which introduce the show were courtesy of 
the Women in Military Service to America Foundation.

Reviews of the show HERE.

Arrangements for a tour underway
First show: Sept 23, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Annual Alumni Gathering - Private to the School







7/21/2016

The State of the News - for me.




I greatly admire Ken Burns and his work. For years he has opened my eyes to the richness of history and laid out the story of the American past with out flinching.

A few weeks ago I first heard Burns speak of his view of Donald Trump in a video of his commencement address at Stanford University. He took my breath away when he put what is happening in this campaign in a wider context of history as historians are prone to do.

This morning I encountered a new interview with Christiane Amanpour where Burns builds on this Stanford address. He says to her "if Edward R Murrow was here he would have exposed what's happening with Donald J. Trump." I have thought of Murrow myself. I am aching to hear reporters that have the kind of depth we were once accustomed to from Edw. R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and others.

Ken Burns Interview

I miss those resonating voices first heard as a child on radio and then on television. During this campaign we have been reduced to the paid surrogates who scream the opinions they have been directed to support trying to drown out others. And the commentators either cannot control them or don't want to so the broadcast is reduced to shrill screaming matches. My opinion is "who cares" what hired surrogates say - give me real and thoughtful commentators who have a depth of experience to speak from.

I do hope there are still some out there - I am looking for them.

7/17/2016

Ready to Serve - One More Show - Check the Reviews

YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE READY TO SERVE!

ONE PERFORMANCES LEFT!








One  more performance:

Sat.   July 23, 2:30 PM

Check http://bit.ly/war-nurses
for ticket information


If you have not seen the show hope you have time on your "dance card" to catch the last  show.

Here is what what the critics have said:

Three Reviews:




"But this masterful researcher and affecting performer goes way beyond just remembering this brave group of 64 women—she brings their stories to life and honors their forgotten legacy." DCTheatreScene






"There is so much detail in the vivid description of the nurses’ lives, from specific patients’ tragic stories to the various ramifications of the biting cold of French winters, that it becomes hard to avoid painting a vivid picture in your mind." DCMetroTheaterArts







"The story is fascinating and worthwhile, a little slice of history that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Schoetter embodies her character completely, and before long it’s easy to forget that she’s playing a character at all."  DCist


From: Ellouise Schoettler

This is my 7th Fringe with a new, original one-woman show and I love it! Fringe is an opportunity for performers to experiment with new material, to try out different approaches and to grow as performers. 

This year has been the start of Ready to Serve - the  second story of OVER THERE, a trilogy of stories about women during World War One. Hello Girls began to travel after it's launch and has been seen in eight states. It was a particular thrill to perform The Hello Girls at the National World War One Museum and Memorial.

People are already interested in having Ready to Serve travel. I am excited to say I have been invited to perform Ready to Serve at the annual meeting of the Alumni of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD in September. Since the nurses in this story served with the Johns Hopkins Base Hospital 18 in France I think of that as a homecoming for them.

Thanks to the Fringe and to all who came to meet these wonderful women who have been lost in the shadows of history.



















7/14/2016

On My 80th Birthday


Today is my 80th birthday
Such a day makes you think.

Both my grandmothers died earlier

My mother lived beyond 80.

Now I am on a cusp
and I am making lists to start my new decade.


No more wasting time

Choices are important
  of people, of words, of how one spends the gifts of days.

Every day has always been a gift.

Now even more so.

I remember Jim on his 80th birthday
                   which was a fine June day
                                      five years ago
                                      saying how grateful he was for so many years.

Then in less than six months he was gone.

So a birthday like today
  brings up the reminder of the sand running out.

I hope to make the best use of what time is left to me.

I have a few wishes for my "bucket list"

But its the blessings every day that really counts, isn't it?

7/02/2016

A week-end of remembrance


Every so often I am reminded that some of the posts on this blog have a longer life than over-night.This morning I checked in on this blog to see if anyone had stopped in during the past few days. I noticed that someone had stopped by and they had read a post from July 2008. Obviously someone who knows Gettysburg history because now is the commemorating time of remembering the Battle at Gettysburg.

So I am re-posting the blog post I wrote in 2008.  Brings back wonderful memories and reminds me of US history and some family history stories that need to be completed. I am not going to Gettysburg this weekend because I am focused on WWOne and rehearsing before the Fringe opens for me next Saturday - but I will stop and watch one of the fine films about the Gettysburg battle to remind myself of the sacrifices that week-end in 1863....and say thank you. 7/05/2008


Gettysburg, Family History and Fireflies.

Gettysburg
Jim and I are spending the week-end just outside Gettysburg, PA -- just like hundreds of other folks - Civil War enthusiasts who have come for the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. Coming into town yesterday we drove down Table Top Road to see what we could see of the re-enactment. Mostly signs to the US Camp to the left and to the Southern Camp straight head. Both camps are set up way off the road - out of sight. And traffic - cars lined up and parking. At that we made a U-turn and headed to our house another way.

When we turned into Gurnsey Road we met a caravan of horse trailers pulling into the narrow farm road from a smaller farmer's road. Jim pulled over to let the groaning trucks pulling their four-footed cargo pass by. Hang on guys - The Cavalry is coming.

The Battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, took place July 1,2,and 3, 1863. It turned the tide of the war. Ghosts of those days are said to still haunt the area. Jim and I decided to honor the fallen and re-visit those days by watching two classic films, Gods and General's - a prequel for Gettysburg - and today we will watch Gettysburg - much of it filmed around the Gettysburg area.

I can't say too much for the acting in God's and General's. I find it over-played at best, but it gets the gist of the history across - and that's what we were looking for. It was a time when the country fought against itself over State's rights - and questions of loyalty - the union or your home state. Why else would farmer's boys pick up rifes and bedrolls and leave home to die? And there was plenty of dying on both sides.

Family History
As I watched a farmer's son shoulder his bedroll and strike off down the road I thought of Granny's father, Thomas Milton Hall. Thomas Hall joined the Mecklenburg Farmer's Unit when he was 16 years old and left his home in Mint Hill with other boys from the neighborhood. Led by a man from the area who was well-known to them, they walked across North Carolina and into Virginia with the Confederate Army for three years. Thomas Hall was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg, captured and imprisoned at Point Lookout Prison, MD. At the end of the war he walked home.

On the Keasler side of Mama's family young South Carolina men joined up. Some rode the train to Virginia to fight at Fredericksburg. There is a letter to a Keasler mother who is anxiouisly waiting for news in SC - "we buried David in a shallow grave. If you want to come and get his body, come soon." As I was told the story, she hitched horses to a farm wagon and drove them from Clemson, SC to Fredericksburg, VA to bring her son home.

Fireflies
At one point during the movie, Gettysburg, The Federal and Southern troops were charging and defending Little Round Top. Our den was filled with the sound of muskets - when I realized some of those shots sounded just outside, not coming from the TV. I stepped onto the deck - sure enough, red rockets lit the sky. More Fourth of July fireworks.

And, better still, a new crop of fireflies, glowing gold, flitted across the yard and the field in the distance. I am so glad I did not miss them.

6/28/2016

Piling on and a shout out.






Good morning.

How are things going for you?

My head is spinning.

I find myself wanting to crawl back under my warm covers and wait for the "all clear" signal.

Too much. Too much.



Last week I was basking in the warmth of the Schoettler family reunion, the beauty of nature at Yosemite National Park, being with old friends and the soothing of memory.

This week - the world has gone to hell in a hand-basket.

1. The Brits had some kind of referendum so that morons could vote and pull the rug out from under       the world so that they could take their country back and boot out the immigrants.

2. Donald Trump had his daily issue of world wide television coverage to promote his golf club in Scotland while making the US look unbelievably stupid because he is a presidential candidate, and scaring the world with the possibility that Americans may show that they have lost their smarts and elect him. The world trembles.

3. Like many I am carefully watching my widow's mite in our pension account drip away.  This drip, drip, drip. makes me feel helpless because I cannot put my finger in the hole in the damn dam and stop it.

4. Oh, did I mention this whole thing makes me a bit nervous?

Then I take my eyes off my navel and look at the pictures of the flood and devastation in West Virginia  - -

and I swallow hard and offer a prayer -

a shout out to God.

HELP!

P.S. Thanks for the messages but not to worry about me losing my energy.

I did not say it very well but in the ending I was aiming for - look around and see where others are and then measure against your problems and issues.






6/25/2016

Reunion = family connections




Wow! Its been a fast two weeks filled with many good things and building memories.

This time last week I was at the Schoettler reunion in Madera, CA, wrapped in the 2016 Schoettler tee-shirt and celebrating my pre-birthday surrounded by the warmth of a large and wonderful family.

I came to Madera in 1959 for the first time - where the family reached out to the new member - me - with wide open arms. Jim and I had married on the East Coast and by the time we had the money to come to CA we had two young kids and another on the way.

I was 23 years old. Jim and I had carefully planned the trip from San Antonio, where he was stationed in the Air Force, to have him introduce me to his family. The Air Force stepped in and over-rode our plans with an assignment for him to go to the old Cape Canaveral in Florida for two weeks. Rather than delaying the trip - Jim sent me to CA with the children on my own until he could get there. An adventure - the first leg - an early morning flight from SA to Houston, then I transferred to a Pan Am Constellation for the flight to Los Angeles, and finally a third connection on a smaller plane to Fresno where a crowd of all the family met me at the airport. By my 10 pm arrival I was exhausted, the kids were tired and irritable, and we all looked a rumpled mess but we were welcomed by warm loving hugs - as Jim had known we would be.

Since then the little children of that time have grown into grand-parents and there are several layers of new generations added.  Dear ones are remembered and missed when the crowd gathers - but the feelings of strong family connections have not changed. I am so grateful to be a part of it.


In July I have a significant birthday waiting for me. Sweetly thinking ahead, my daughter Robin 
arranged for this splendiferous, delicious 
cake at the reunion and they all sang the Happy Birthday greeting. Lovely. It felt truly right as Jim's birthday was also that week in June. 
Jimmy and Robin and Brad were there and we missed Karen and the various grandchildren - but gathering young adults is like herding kittens.  - especially across 3,000 miles  - 
maybe you know how that is

Now that I am  home - my heart is filled with happy memories  - memories that want to pop loose - because they bring up other times. Over 80 years  I have quite a few - so I a going to write about them for the next stretch of time. I want to capture them for me and for my family.

.
Back to reality!

First - - before I can please myself by doing that I have to focus totally on Ready to Serve, my new story for the Capital Fringe. 

The Fringe Preview was last night. 20 shows , each with 4 minutes to do a sample of their show. Actually reducing to 4 memorable minutes is a tough assignment. I was glad to be included and I felt that it went fine. I hope folks will come.

Nice surprise for me on Twitter the next day. Thanks @Sonia Zamborsky.

There was lots of energy and excitement last night. New faces and it is nice to see the familiars and to reconnect. I have already picked out a few shows I hope to see. 

I was grateful to have a high-school friend who was passing through town come to the Preview with me and help out by giving out cards and chatting it up with folks. But even more, being in this memoir mood, I particularly enjoyed the laughter bubbling up as we roused up memories of the past when we were crazy teen-agers. 

Reminded me of a few new stories to tell - - - 

as soon as the WWI Nurses of Ready to Serve are launched and on their feet. 



Reunion = family connections




Wow! Its been a fast two weeks filled with many good things and building memories.

This time last week I was at the Schoettler reunion in Madera, CA, wrapped in the 2016 Schoettler tee-shirt and celebrating my pre-birthday surrounded by the warmth of a large and wonderful family.

I came to Madera in 1959 for the first time - where the family reached out to the new member - me - with wide open arms. Jim and I had married on the East Coast and by the time we had the money to come to CA we had two young kids and another on the way.

I was 23 years old. Jim and I had carefully planned the trip from San Antonio, where he was stationed in the Air Force, to have him introduce me to his family. The Air Force stepped in and over-rode our plans with an assignment for him to go to the old Cape Canaveral in Florida for two weeks. Rather than delaying the trip - Jim sent me to CA with the children on my own until he could get there. An adventure - the first leg - an early morning flight from SA to Houston, then I transferred to a Pan Am Constellation for the flight to Los Angeles, and finally a third connection on a smaller plane to Fresno where a crowd of all the family met me at the airport. By my 10 pm arrival I was exhausted, the kids were tired and irritable, and we all looked a rumpled mess but we were welcomed by warm loving hugs - as Jim had known we would be.

Since then the little children of that time have grown into grand-parents and there are several layers of new generations added.  Dear ones are remembered and missed when the crowd gathers - but the feelings of strong family connections have not changed. I am so grateful to be a part of it.


In July I have a significant birthday waiting for me. Sweetly thinking ahead, my daughter Robin 
arranged for this splendiferous, delicious 
cake at the reunion and they all sang the Happy Birthday greeting. Lovely. It felt truly right as Jim's birthday was also that week in June. 
Jimmy and Robin and Brad were there and we missed Karen and the various grandchildren - but gathering young adults is like herding kittens.  - especially across 3,000 miles  - 
maybe you know how that is

Now that I am  home - my heart is filled with happy memories  - memories that want to pop loose - because they bring up other times. Over 80 years  I have quite a few - so I a going to write about them for the next stretch of time. I want to capture them for me and for my family.

.
Back to reality!

First - - before I can please myself by doing that I have to focus totally on Ready to Serve, my new story for the Capital Fringe. 

The Fringe Preview was last night. 20 shows , each with 4 minutes to do a sample of their show. Actually reducing to 4 memorable minutes is a tough assignment. I was glad to be included and I felt that it went fine. I hope folks will come.

There was lots of energy and excitement last night. New faces and it is nice to see the familiars and to reconnect. I have already picked out a few shows I hope to see. 

I was grateful to have a high-school friend who was passing through town come to the Preview with me and help out by giving out cards and chatting it up with folks. But even more, being in this memoir mood, I particularly enjoyed the laughter bubbling up as we roused up memories of the past when we were crazy teen-agers. 

Reminded me of a few new stories to tell - - - 

as soon as the WWI Nurses of Ready to Serve are launched and on their feet.