“Woman suffrage is the reform against nature,” declares Marie Jenney Howe’s unlikely, but irresistibly likeable, heroine. Howe, a pro-suffragist, wrote her Anti-Suffrage Monologue in 1912—eight years before women at last won the vote. Her fictional speaker is a charming, guileless enthusiast who sincerely believes that her efforts as a “womanly woman” will keep the Home intact—and save the Nation from anarchy.
“Ladies, get what you want. Pound pillows. Make a scene. Make home a hell on earth--
but do it in a womanly way! That is so much more dignified and refined than walking up to a
ballot box and dropping in a piece of paper."
Michele LaRue, raised outside Chicago, has spent most of her life in Secaucus, NJ, working in theater and film in NYC and NJ. Her credits with ELTC include William Dean Howells’ Bride Roses, Susan Glaspell’s Suppressed Desires, and Gayle Stahlhuth’s adaptation of Henry James’ The Beast in the Jungle – all directed by her late husband and ELTC's founder and first artistic director, Warren Kliewer. She was also in Jesse Lynch Williams' The New York Idea, directed by Stahlhuth.
For over 25 years, LaRue has been performing throughout the country in one-woman shows. She's been making people laugh with her Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire, written by Marie Jenney Howe in 1912, and directed by Kliewer. She has made people gasp in her re-imagined version of Yellow Wallpaper, adapted and originally directed by Kliewer, based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 horror story. She also portrays the Famous First Lady in Eve's Diary, adapted by Stahlhuth, based on the writings of Mark Twain. AND she's been performing Kliewer's own vibrant poetry about life in the theater in Places Please, Act One.
LaRue was one of the first to read on porches as part of ELTC's Tales of the Victorians. Now, under her own title, Tales Well Told, she reads works of Kate Chopin, Edna Ferber, Mary Wilkins Freeman, O. Henry, Dorothy Canfield Fisher and other American writers, in various venues throughout the country. A popular piece recently has been her Gettysburg: One Woman’s War, three stories from Elsie Singmaster's moving 1913 classic book Gettysburg,
She is an active member of New Jersey Repertory Company, which specializes in developing and producing new scripts, and the two performing unions: Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. As a theater editor-writer, she is also a member of the Drama Desk, a group of New York drama critics.