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C.V. Starr Center for the


Study of the American Experience

Bearded Ladies Cabaret Company

Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellows, 2014

In January 2014, The Bearded Ladies, a Philadelphia based theater company, invaded Washington College for a week-long residency—complete with workshops, classes, and a parade though campus—culminating in three free performances of their hit show, “Wide Awake: A Civil War Cabaret.” Described as a perfect blend of arts and history, the show, loosely based Starr Center Director Adam Goodheart’s book 1861, explores the War’s cultural legacy. The Bearded Ladies is an experimental cabaret group devoted to exploiting all the possibilities of intimate, homemade theater through beautiful songs, tricked-out costume changes, drag, and virtuosic prop construction. They tackle the politics of popular culture, sex, gender, and artistic invention.

As part of the residency, the troupe members taught classes in the drama, history, English literature and music departments.

For more information about the Bearded Ladies’ fellowship, please click here.

 See photos of the Beard’s performance of “Wide Awake.”

See photos of the Beard’s playmaking workshop at WC.

Students discuss the impact of The Bearded Ladies fellowship-in-residence. Read their reviews here.