There has been more talk and interest around the upcoming world premiere production of Edith at the Berkshire Theatre Group than any other play this summer, with the possible exception of Dr. Ruth, All the Way, at Barrington Stage Company. Both are plays about strong and capable women who have made a significant impoct on America during their lifetimes. Edith Bolling Galt Wilson served her country in 1919-1920 following The Great War, while Dr. Ruth’s contributions were made around the time of the Sexual Revolution beginning in the early 1980′s. Edith Wilson continued to be a player in Washington until the 1960′s (she attended the inauguration of JFK) and Dr. Ruth is still a major figure in this country’s endless battle with antiquated notions about sexuality.
The Back Story
Different times, different agendas, but fascinating tales. Edith‘s story is one of America’s “secret president” when, less than five years after marrying Woodrow Wilson, she found herself managing the affairs of the country as the President lay stricken with a stroke, brought on by a frantic campaign of endless travel and speeches in support of his dream for world peace through the League of Nations. Until then, the most radical act that Edith Wilson had initiated was letting sheep graze on the White House lawn so that the gardeners could be released for military duty.