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  • Determination, Drama, and Daring: The Life of Louise Wooster

Determination, Drama, and Daring: The Life of Louise Wooster

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
  • 11:45 AM
  • The Harbert Center




Birmingham madam and humanitarian Louise (Lou) Wooster lived a life unimaginable for her day, complete with tragedy, comedy and her alleged dalliance with John Wilkes Booth. Beyond documentation of her selfless work during Birmingham's devastating 1873 cholera epidemic, our sense of the life of Lou Wooster is based in legend, hearsay and on her own tales as presented in her autobiography.  Playwright and actress Ellise Mayor presents an excerpt of her work, "Determination, Drama and Daring",  which was drawn from archival  research and Wooster’s "The Autobiography of a Magdalen".  Mayor portrays Wooster as she promotes herself, leaving the audience to decide what is fact , fiction or fantasy.   This play was commissioned by Vulcan Park and Museum as part of its educational mission to preserve and share our community's history and culture, and is available for group presentations by contacting makerman@visitvulcan.com.


Actress, director and playwright Ellise Mayor appeared most recently in Ghostwriter, Talking With, and Musical Comedy Murders at Birmingham Festival Theatre. She has had leading roles in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hairspray, ‘Night Mother, The Normal Heart, History Boys, and Blown Sideways Through Life. Directing credits include: The Oldest Profession, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Screwups, Almost, Maine, Hay Fever, Grace and Completeness, all at local theatres. After completing her undergraduate studies at Birmingham-Southern College, Mayor studied at the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City. She is former Managing Artistic Director of The Seasoned Performers, Alabama’s only senior adult theatre company. As part of Vulcan Park and Museum’s high school educational outreach programs, Mayor has performed Too Many Questions, a one woman show about Birmingham socialite turned civil rights activist, Virginia Durr. 



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