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American History Theater Partners with Women's Museum of California for HERstory-Inspired Productions

American History Theater

SAN DIEGO – Join local non-profit American History Theater as they kick off their Fall Performing Arts Season at the Women’s Museum of California with a HERstory-inspired festival about strong women from America’s rich history. The museum will showcase two plays by the theater and veteran-focused non-profit, both of which will run the evenings of Sept. 24 and 25 and then Oct. 1 and 2 as The Women’s History Theater Festival.

The festival productions will be back to back performances, the first of which is “The Last Flapper”, about artist, writer and famously crazy Zelda Fitzgerald, also wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald of “The Great Gatsby” fame.  The second showing will be “Amelia Lives”, about Amelia Earhart, famed pilot and woman pioneer of the skies. The roles will be played by Samantha Stavely, as Zelda, and Beth Gallagher, as Amelia. “Amelia Lives” will be directed by Melissa Malloy and “The Last Flapper” will be directed by Hal Berry, also president and founder of American History Theater.

Through these plays and through the American History Theater Festival, the organization, partnered with The Women’s Museum of California, hopes to highlight the triumphs, struggles, love and heart of two of America’s most interesting, strong and inspiring women.

“My one hope is that I can do the role justice,” said Stavely, who is playing Zelda Fitzgerald. “I want the audience to feel so many emotions. I want them to like her (Zelda) because she was likeable and strong.”

This play, taking place in a mental institution, takes the viewers into the schizophrenic mind of Zelda Fitzgerald. Stavely also hopes that through the role she can help to address some of the ways in which society views mental illness.

“There is a definite stigma around certain mental health issues,” said Stavely. “She was mentally ill, yes, but she was also strong and very intensely intelligent and creative.”

Malloy, directing “Amelia Lives” has similar desires as she tackles her second theatrical directing challenge. Uncovering the dynamic details of historic characters is part of the acting and directorial process and has been a joy to those putting together American History Theater’s Fall Season.

“I have loved directing this show and learning about Amelia,” says Malloy. “She was a truly inspirational woman and wasn’t afraid to ‘jump off the barn roof’, so to speak! She led the way for women to go for what they wanted in what was essentially a man’s world. Beth Gallagher does an amazing job bringing Ms. Earhart to life, giving her gumption and heart. Hopefully this show will give (women) the permission they are looking for to reach for the sky!” 

American History Theater, now into their third year as a local-and-proud San Diego-based non-profit, has worked hard since their inception to bring the stories of the past and present to life through the arts and even tackle tough issues associated with our nation’s military and veterans. This is the second season that American History has partnered with the Women’s Museum of California.

For more information on the show please contact Amber Robinson, organization Vice President of Communications and co-founder. Tickets are available through the Women’s Museum website at and more information on shows, showtimes, actresses and directors can be found at

The Women’s Museum of California will be the site of all shows at:  2730 Historic Decatur Road Barracks 16 San Diego, CA, 92106.