About five years ago, my husband, Jim Dries, and I embarked on a marvelous journey that is now bearing fruit. It is entirely possible that this “fruit” could prove very appropriate for your venue. We wanted to put together a one-woman show about President Jimmy Carter’s “Remarkable” mother, Lillian Carter that was educational as well as entertaining – and vice versa! Former President Carter saw a video of an early draft of the play and said, in part:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed your delightful performance as my mother…. I have no objection to your plans to use the material from my various books, and if there is any revenue from the performances, our portion could go to the Town of Plains Better Hometown Committee.”
We soon thereafter took President Carter up on his invitation to come to Plains and “meet more of the family.” Before starting his adult Sunday School lesson, he introduced me to the congregation as an actress “who has perfected a play about my mother.” Since that time, we have had the opportunity to meet and talk with President and Mrs. Carter along with several folks from Plains who knew “Miss Lillian.” Most recently, President Carter introduced me to some members of the congregation as his “Second Mother!”
One of the first performances was at The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in commemoration of Bess Truman’s Birthday, hosted each year by the local D.A.R. Here is a portion of the letter written following this performance by Dr. Kurt Graham, Director, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum:
“Thank you for your fabulous portrayal of Lillian Carter at the Truman Library last Saturday. I received so many wonderful comments from those who attended. The local chapter of the Daughters of The American Revolution meets here every February 13 for a program to celebrate Bess Truman’s birthday. Several of the chapter members made it a point to tell me they had never experienced a better program in all the years they have been coming here.
“The play is so well written and so well-performed….Again, I congratulate you on a stellar accomplishment. I hope you will find ways to share this piece broadly. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in that effort.”