Although Shannon Woolley acquired great acting experiences during college, she was dissatisfied with the post-college theater world. So, as talented and ambitious woman do, she rolled up her sleeves and started her own company.
Woolley, along with and friends and fellow natives of Louisville, Ky., Kelly Welsh-Mc Nerney and Trina Fischer, launched the Looking for Lilith Theatre Company in fall 2000.
The New York-based company will bring its latest production, "What My Hands Have Touched: American Women in World War II," to Milwaukee's Off-Broadway Theatre, August 7-10.
The show explores women's roles in the workplace and war effort during World War II while posing the question "What were the women of World War II willing to give up to change the world, and what would they gain?"
It also deviates from the usual portrayal of women as victims during wars.
"Many people, men and women alike, are unaware of quite how drastically WWII changed women's lives or how drastically women changed WWII," says Woolley. "Living in a time of war is a human experience that belongs to neither gender."
The show is the first of a Women in Wartime series, and like all of Looking for Lilith's performances, was created by a group of actors through an intense year of research and collaboration. Consequently, no one person receives the writing credit.
"What My Hands Have Touched" was concocted from a mix of letters newspaper articles, books, photos, movies, diaries, and oral histories, including interviews with the daughters of "Rosie the Riveter" (Rose Will Monroe).
The summer tour includes stops in New York, Georgia, Louisville and Milwaukee. Why Milwaukee? Welsh-McNerney currently lives in Brew City and is working with First Stage and the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company.
"The show is fun," says Woolley. "It includes a lot of music of the time period and may be of special interest to anyone who is a member of 'The Greatest Generation.'"
"What My Hands Have Touched," runs Thurs., Aug 7- Sun., Aug. 10 at the Off-Broadway Theatre, 324 N. Water St. Thursday and Friday shows begin at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12; $10 for students and seniors.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.