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Final part of Eleanor Roosevelt trilogy at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center

Susan Marie Frontczak returns as Eleanor Roosevelt.

Courtesy Susan Marie Frontczak

Susan Marie Frontczak returns as Eleanor Roosevelt.

In April 2009, when Susan Marie Frontczak presented the first installment of her trilogy depicting the late first lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, the audience was mesmerized.

Her physical appearance, voice and diction were eerily like those of Mrs. Roosevelt, who died in 1962 but was well remembered by most in the audience.

During an "in character" question-and-answer period following her monologue, she answered arcane questions with ease and grace, at one point responding "I don't have any idea" to a question (that many in the audience knew), because the event had taken place after the time period of her presentation.

The second installment in January 2010 was just as spellbinding, depicting a maturing woman with growing political influence and acumen.

On Sunday, Ms. Frontczak returns to Tarpon Springs to present the final installment, Hammering Out Human Rights, which takes place after the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945, and culminates with the signing of what Mrs. Roosevelt called "the international Magna Carta of all mankind," the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By that time, Mrs. Roosevelt had become a world figure, receiving 48 honorary college degrees; had been the subject of theatrical and television movies; the first first lady to receive honorary membership into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the world's oldest sorority for African-American women; a noted writer and newspaper columnist; the U.S. delegate to the United Nations; and a tireless advocate for the working class and women.

Ms. Frontczak has performed as Mrs. Roosevelt across the United States, Canada and Scotland and has also portrayed scientist Marie Curie and writer Mary Shelley, whose works include the Gothic novel, Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus.

The three-part Roosevelt program begins with a one-hour monologue in the character of Mrs. Roosevelt, followed by a Q & A session in character. The last portion is a Q & A with Ms. Frontczak as scholar, answering queries in the third person.

Her programs have received rave reviews from scholars and lay people alike, both for the content and for her presentation.

"Frontczak is meticulously precise in her historical research, and her performance in character is simply dazzling," said Michael Carrafiello, dean of academic affairs and history professor at Miami University Hamilton in Ohio.

"We were spellbound by the virtuosity of her voice and gesture, intellectual challenge and emotional involvement," said Brad Bowles, chairman of the theater department at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Ms. Frontczak's mother, Lenore, lives in New Port Richey.

>>If you go

'Eleanor Roosevelt

Part III: Hammering

Out Human Rights'

Where: Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center, 324 Pine St., Tarpon Springs

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $16 nonmembers, $14 members, $12 students. Call (727) 842-5605

Final part of Eleanor Roosevelt trilogy at Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center 02/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:52pm]
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