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January 14, 2023
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
SoNo Friends of NPL Community Room
10 Washington St.
Norwalk, CT 06854
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Saturday, January 14, 2023

When Father puts the livestock first, it's the last straw for Mother. A Mary E. Wilkins Freeman classic. Equal rights hit the farm, with a twist O.Henry would envy.

Long ago, Adoniram Penn promised his wife that he would build a proper house on their New England farm. He even pointed out the spot. That was early in their marriage—two children ago. Now, as their eldest dreams of her wedding, the family still crams into the old, shabby cottage . . . and Father is building a barn where the new house should be. It’s the last straw for Mother, and she’ll do something about it.

“I love this story,” exclaims actress Michèle LaRue, who tours nationally in 30 TALES WELL TOLD—stories from America’s Gilded Age and Progressive Era. “And I love Mary E. Wilkins Freeman. With six of her works already in my repertoire, I’d wanted to add The Revolt of “Mother” for a long time.” This is Michèle’s fifth live appearance at SoNo. Patrons may remember last summer’s virtual program, A Bird in the Hand, as well as pre-Covid’s Gettysburg: One Woman's War, The Bedquilt, and Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire. She has specialized in performances of vintage American literature for 30 years. . “Delightful, delicious work!” “What you have to offer is priceless.” “You could hear a pin drop!” “Riveting!” exclaimed audiences in New York City, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Washington State. Michèle is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, with credits in New York City and regional theatres. More than 500 U.S. sponsors have presented her TALES.

Author Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman wrote hundreds of stories in her lifetime. Born on October 31, 1852, she spent most of her life in her birthplace: Randolph, Eastern Massachusetts. The scenes she knew there form the background for most of her tales of rural life. She wrote insightfully and with sympathetic humor about small-town New Englanders, yet her characters are universal and familiar. Freeman’s first collections of stories, A Humble Romance and A New England Nun, established her reputation and contain her finest work. She authored several novels, as well, and a compelling play— Giles Corey, Yeoman—about the Salem witchcraft trials, published decades before Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. She continued to write and publish until her death, in 1930.

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