AAUW Rapid City and American Civic Forum present the play, Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville. One night only at The Dahl Fine Arts Center.
Produced and performed by American Civic Forum, a nonprofit performing arts organization based in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the performance presents the testimony Barton gave to Congress in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. Barton’s testimony and the questions she answers from Senator Jacob M. Howard are acted verbatim; no words have been changed and nothing has been edited. The performance is introduced with background information about the people, events and circumstances Barton and Howard reference; this gives the audience enough familiarity with the historical details to absorb Barton’s point of view (and to enjoy the show). In this piece, Barton (played by Linda Sue Anderson) describes the dire conditions at Andersonville prison, a camp established by the Confederacy to house Union prisoners of war, and her experiences with newly freed slaves. The show is staged quite simply—only two tables and two actors, with no elaborate set—to focus on Barton’s extraordinary place in American and world history as a nurse and fearless champion for women and equality.