the first production of the historically based espionage drama
Sisters Under The Skin
by Austin playwright Paullette MacDougal
directed by Gaia Farnam
May 4 – 20, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Howson Hall Theater, Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover (click for map)
Tickets for the May 4 Opening Night Gala, which includes a special reception with refreshments, are $20. All other performances $15 General Admission, with $10 for Students, Seniors (65+) and groups of 10 or more. Purchase tickets online at www.paradoxplayers.org or phone 512-744-1495 for reservations.
This production will include the Heritage Chorale performing spiritual songs born of emancipation, 19th century religion, and the struggle for freedom.
Early in the American Civil War, educated slave Mary Bowser became a dining room servant to the Jefferson Davis family in the Confederate White House in Richmond. Pretending to be dull-witted and illiterate, the heroic Mary reported what she saw and heard – war strategy, troop movements, weaknesses in the rebel forces – to her owner, Elizabeth Van Lew.
To avoid suspicion, Elizabeth, who sent the information through the lines to Lincoln and Grant, feigned insanity, earning the name “Crazy Bet.” Facing certain death if found out, Mary and Elizabeth, slave and owner, courageously became Lincoln’s eyes and ears in the heart of the Confederacy.
According to playwright MacDougal Sisters Under The Skin started as a short play called "Crazy Bet," which was awarded "Best of the Fest" in FronteraFest 2011. "Lots of people were intrigued by the story and urged me to write a full-length version. The fact that 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation was an incentive for me to really get my skates on.”
Sisters Under The Skin features actors Rae Petersen as “Crazy Bet,” Rodnesha K. Green as Mary Bowser, and Peggy Schott as Mrs. Jefferson Davis.The Heritage Chorale is under the direction of Madeline P. McCauley, Minister of Music at Ebenezer Baptist Church.