Jane VanBoskirk portrays Eleanor Roosevelt

Nationally known actress Jane VanBoskirk will portray Eleanor Roosevelt in Venice on Feb. 20.

VENICE — Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt made her first visit to Sarasota in 1938 when she came to visit an aunt and uncle who lived on Siesta Key.

She’s coming back on Thursday, Feb. 20, when the Venice branch of American Association of University Women presents a one-woman play about her to benefit TechTrek, a technology-based camp program for middle school girls.

Nationally known character actress Jane Van Boskirk has appeared in this one-hour play, “Across a Barrier of Fear: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt,” at venues all across the country.

The title and theme of the play, written by Sharon Whitney, was drawn from a statement Roosevelt made: “Everything I ever did was accomplished across a barrier of fear.”

Van Boskirk speaks of her story often.

“I am particularly drawn to portraying Eleanor because her story is relevant to these times – where our government stands on its responsibilities to protect freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear to all of its citizens, to protect us from harm, and to promote democracy here and abroad,” Van Boskirk said. “Those were critical issues of her time and remain so today.”

In Venice, the production will take place with doors opening at 3 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Venice Community Center. The performance starts at 4 p.m.

The cabaret-style event includes one free wine, beer or nonalcoholic beverage and “lite bites” following the performance. Cash bar is also available before and after the performance.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. With nearly 250 members, the Venice branch is the largest in the state of Florida and one of the largest in the nation.

Tickets for the performance are available from AAUW members and from several community and business partners including these merchants: Cole’s Postal Service U.S.A, 2357-3 South Tamiami Trail; Collectors Gallery & Framery, 114 S. Nokomis Ave.; Down Island Way Boutique, 225 W. Miami Ave.; and Venice Olive Oil Co., 101 W. Venice Ave., Suite 5. Tickets are also on sale at Venice Art Center, 390 Nokomis Ave. S.

Additional information about this event is available on the Venice AAUW website: venice-fl.aauw.net.

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