FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thalian Association Community Theatre
Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center & the WW II Wilmington Home Front Coalition Present
Rosie the Riveter: American Women in World War II
Step back in time and celebrate the beginning of the contemporary Women’s Movement with a tribute to Rosie The Riveter on the 2nd Street Stage at the Hannah Block Historic USO Building. Explore the Rosie phenomenon with a presentation by renowned WWII historian Wilbur Jones that covers women in all aspects of service to the nation followed by a special performance by Elizabeth Michaels as Rosie the Riveter. An exhibition of Rosie the Riveter memorabilia featuring Capt. Jones’ vast collection of artifacts, posters, and artwork will be on display in the lobby museum of the Historic USO Building. The nostalgic mood will be complete with free coffee and donuts courtesy of The Donut Inn and swing dancing with the Cape Fear Swing Dance Society before the performances and during intermission.
There will be two performances only; Friday October 20th at 7:30 pm and a special matinee Sunday October 22nd at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $16 with special senior, group and military rates available and can be purchased at 910-341-7860 or at HBHUSO/Community Arts Center. The Hannah Block Historic USO is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and proceeds from Rosie the Riveter: American Women in World War II will be dedicated to the preservation of the building.
Wilbur Jones is a Wilmington native, retired Navy captain, military historian, and the author of 18 books, including two award-winners on wartime Wilmington and Southeastern North Carolina. A frequent writer for the Wilmington StarNews Media, his principal field of study is WWII. He is founder and chairman of the WWII Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition, past chairman of the USS North Carolina Battleship Commission (currently a commissioner), and leads an effort to have the U.S. Congress designate Wilmington as the first “American WWII City.”
Elizabeth Michaels is an experienced actress who began her career after high school with vast experience in community and regional theatre. Ms. Michaels settled in the Philadelphia area where she became involved with The American Historical Theatre as a historical storyteller. She has portrayed several famous women from the 1700’s to the present time with her favorites being Dolley Madison and Rosie the Riveter. Ms. Michaels has performed at the White House Visitors Center, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Valley Forge National Park just to name a few venues. Elizabeth is also a narrator of books on tape for Audible.com.
The Cape Fear Swing Dance Society is a volunteer community organization dedicated to promoting swing dancing and swing era culture in the Cape Fear region. Established in 2015, the club holds weekly meetings at the HBHUSO/Community Arts Center that are open to the public. More information is available at the group’s Facebook page.
“For many years, I’ve been absolutely in love with Rosie the Riveter and what she represents as the symbol of American women during World War II. Her We Can Do It slogan meant America can win the war, and we women can make it happen. It was the start of the Women’s Movement” said Wilbur Jones, Chairman of the World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition. “She’s my favorite wartime personality and the home front’s indelible Grand Icon. I thoroughly enjoy presenting my PowerPoint program about her and the women who served our country, and to join with Rosie Impersonator Elizabeth Michaels for a complete show is a special treat.”
The Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center is owned by the City of Wilmington and managed by Thalian Association Community Theatre. The building is a historic and cultural treasure that has been the center of recreation and art for generations of local children. Today the building continues to be the home for children, art and recreation while serving as a mini museum of the Wilmington and New Hanover County WWII home front. The World War II Wilmington Home Front Heritage Coalition, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) preservation organization, is the de-facto preservationist of the building’s history and maintains the home front museum. For more information go to HBHUSO/Community Arts Center.