In this exclusive audio interview Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ talks with playwright/actress Terry Baum about her solo play HICK: A Love Story, The Romance of Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt that she’s performing through January 25th at The Berkeley City Club in Berkeley, California. Lorena Hickok was the most famous woman journalist of her day and the first woman to have a byline on the front page of the NY Times. She met Eleanor Roosevelt (ER) during FDR’s first Presidential campaign in 1932. She convinced her editor that this particular candidate’s wife was worth her own reporter and was assigned to the job herself. The love affair between the aristocratic First Lady and the charming, hard-living butch reporter lasted several years. HICK: A Love Story is based on 2,336 letters ER wrote to Hick over 30 years. These letters were discovered in 1978 when a researcher opened 18 boxes willed to the FDR Library by Lorena Hickok. The letters document a passionate lesbian relationship between Hick and ER in the early years of their friendship and a deep connection that lasted Eleanor’s lifetime. A few of ER’s quotes from these letters during their affair include “I can’t kiss you, so I kiss your picture good night and good morning” and “I would give a good deal to put my arms around you and to feel yours around me. I love you deeply and tenderly.” Hick helped Mrs. Roosevelt become an outspoken, media-savvy activist for democracy and human rights and one of the greatest women of the 20th century. We talked to Baum about HICK: A Love Story and her spin on our LGBT issues.
When asked what she would like to see happen for LGBT equality in the next few years Baum stated, “I would like to see of course federal recognition of gay marriage. That would be an important thing and I would like for people to not lose community after we gain this equality that we have fought so hard for, to keep going as a gay community and a political force and gay people to get more involved in electoral politics. If we want this thing to happen, federal recognition of gay marriage, then we have to elect different people to office. I feel that’s really important. All other kinds of activism are also important but I feel often we overlook the very crucial aspect of who actually makes the laws and spends tax money.”
Terry Baum is a pioneer lesbian playwright and has toured internationally as a solo performer. Her new solo play HICK: A Love Story that she wrote with Pat Bond and directed by Carolyn Myers, has a limited engagement of 19 performances through January 25th at The Berkeley City Club 2315 Durant Street in Berkeley, California.
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