A fascination with theater, dance, and storytelling

Many years ago, a little girl was born in Vermont. As she grew, she loved to make up stories and act them out. She enjoyed singing, dancing, and dressing up as the characters from the stories that she and her friends created. They might be royalty in the Middle Ages, or Greek goddesses, or Vermont farmers, or female versions of the characters in The Little Rascals. Like her mother—a professional dancer—the girl liked to tell a story through movement and music.

Liza Ketchum dancing in Vermont

That’s me on the far left. I have no memory of what the dance was.

In "Ghost Train," I'm the actress seated on the chair.

In “Ghost Train,” I’m the actress seated on the chair.

In Junior High, the girl’s dramatic play turned serious. She sang the role of Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance,” and performed in neighborhood plays. In high school, she had the lead in an old-fashioned melodrama (“Ghost Train”) and was president of the Drama Club. She went to theater school in New York City after high school, coached kids in drama during her college summers, and dreamed of a life onstage.

Instead—and happily—she became a writer.

How does this story relate to a novel about vaudeville, which takes place more than a century ago—when stars like Eva Tanguay, George Walker, and Bert Williams were all the rage?

Follow my blog to find out! I’ll be sharing information about the history of vaudeville, the suffrage movement, and the fight for racial and gender equality over the coming months.

Learn more about my newest book, The Life Fantastic.

Eva Tanguary, George Walker, Bert Williams

At left, Eva Tanguay, vaudeville performer. (Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. “Eva Tanguay” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 5, 2016.) On the right, George Walker and Bert Williams, vaudeville performers and theater producers (public domain).

3 thoughts on “A fascination with theater, dance, and storytelling

  1. I love this post, Liza, and learning all this about you. Can’t wait for the book to come out. Meanwhile, I have all these promised tidbits to look forward to. Thank, you.

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