Actress impersonated three women of the 1800s to honor Women's History Month in Bristol

Published on Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:12
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL - Connecticut actress, writer and artist Gretchen Trapp impersonated three courageous and persistent women of the 1800s in a dramatic and historical performance in celebration of Women’s History Month.

“Each of these women was her own family’s primary caretaker. I think the quality that I’ve come to admire most in these women, even beyond their really prodigious talent, was that of their persistence,” Trapp told about 50 women who attended her performance titled Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.

“They just plain didn’t give up. Time and again they rose to their challenges, both the internal and the societal ones,” Trapp continued. “Their individual choices in barring with and often overcoming these challenges created ripple effects that still fare really positively in our lives today. Each one was and continues to be a very inspiring example.”

Trapp’s performance, held at Manross Library on Tuesday, told the stories of Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott and Clara Schumann. With pictures of the three women displayed for the crowd, each story depicted particular challenges that each faced in their lives, and the universal challenge of being a woman in a man’s world that they all confronted.

In Truth’s story, Trapp, in character, told the struggles Truth endured as a slave in the North and her journey to find her son after he was sold into slavery in Alabama.

While impersonating Alcott, Trapp told her story of joining her abolitionist parents in teaching slaves to read and write. Alcott then authored “Little Women,” earning over $200,000 from her novel and other literature. With that, she was able to support her family and helped organizations that fed the hungry, Trapp said.

Schumann’s story began when she was a child prodigy who hosted her first solo performance at the age of 11. She later became a successful musician, but her story revealed her struggle to balance her career, and taking care of her seven children and her sick husband, German composer Robert Schumann, Trapp explained.

Trapp graduated from Northwestern University and began her professional acting career in Chicago, where she worked in several theaters before moving onto other regional theaters. She has acted Off and Off-Off Broadway and appeared on PBS television.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at 860-801-5088 or by email at

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:12. Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2018 20:15.