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Hopewell Theater
5 South Greenwood Avenue
Hopewell, NJ 08525
info@hopewelltheater.com
(609) 466-1964
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Independence: The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker

Independence: The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker
All patrons who purchased tickets will be receiving credit to the theater, and will be notified when and if the shows have been rescheduled. Contact the Box Office at 609-466-1964 to re-purchase the tickets again with your credit.
  • Of all the 3,200 Congressional Medal of Honor winners, Dr. Mary Walker is the only woman to win our country’s highest award for heroism. She was a Civil War surgeon, dress reform crusader, women’s rights activist, suffragist, feminist, and abolitionist. Walker did not take her husband’s name upon marriage, and their wedding vows did NOT have the word OBEY in them. She was a prisoner of war, and strong patriot.
  • And yet, writer/director Lloyd J. Schwartz had never heard of her. But he couldn’t shake the idea that Dr. Walker’s life was dramatic and could captivate an audience. INDEPENDENCE, produced by Tina Dwyer, had its world premiere, fittingly, in Seneca Falls, New York (the birthplace of the women’s movement), as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote in New York.
  • Actress Kathie Barnes, who portrays Dr. Mary Walker in this one-woman play, notes that Dr. Mary Walker is truly a hero, and she is touched and honored to portray her.

Though a prolific writer/producer in TV and Film (Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, Alice, Baywatch), Lloyd J. Schwartz is proudest of his accomplishments in theatre. He has had 34 plays produced, and has garnered 16 Valley Theatre League awards.

One day, Schwartz read a one page article on Dr. Mary Walker, Civil War surgeon and the only woman to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet he had never heard of her. Normally adverse to one-person plays,  Schwartz couldn’t shake the idea that Dr. Walker’s life was dramatic, intense, pertinent and could captivate an audience. INDEPENDENCE, produced by Tina Dwyer, had its world premiere fittingly in Seneca Falls, New York (the birthplace of the women’s movement), as part of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of women getting the right to vote in New York.

Kathie Barnes, who plays Dr. Mary Walker in Independence, has enjoyed a wide variety of roles in film, television and even digital having been a series regular in Warner Brothers first online series DECEPTION. Other favorite roles include a semi-regular role on ABC’s “All My Children”, Laura in “The Guiding Light” and Nona in the film “Jimmi”. She previously worked with author/director Lloyd Schwartz on two of her favorite theatrical roles, “What Are We Going to Say to Her?” and the poignant “Poems for Mary.” She notes that Dr. Mary Walker is truly a hero and she is touched and honored to portray her.


TESTIMONIALS:

"For far too long, the story of Dr. Mary Walker has not been told. A heroic surgeon and dress reformer, Dr. Mary Walker fought adamantly for her beliefs, which is something we can all aspire to today." - Christy, Princeton University Graduate Student

"My wife and I both enjoyed the play and feel that we learned some interesting history. We’d not heard of Dr. Walker before, and our experience will encourage us to discover other examples of women pioneering in traditionally male roles. There are indeed many more such stories to be told." - PH, Professor, Princeton University

"I don't see plays very often, and I wasn't sure what to expect from a one-person performance.  But I was impressed with how much energy and emotion Kathie Barnes delivered, and the entire play was quite entertaining beginning to end.  INDEPENDENCE not only tells the story of Dr. Mary Walker, but gives us a rarely-seen glimpse of American society in the Civil War era from the point of view of a woman, and illustrates how Dr. Walker's career, very impressive by any standards, is especially unique and noteworthy given the contemporary views of women in medicine and in war.  I would absolutely recommend INDEPENDENCE to anyone looking for an informative (and funny!) show." - Logan, UPENN Graduate Student
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