as “Elizabeth: A Woman of Color” Gladys DeVane, noted actress and master storyteller, will relate the story of Elizabeth, a free woman of color, when retirees gather on Oct. 8. The meeting is at 2 p.m. at the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 E. 17th St., a different venue for the IURA.
Gladys has quite a story of her own. An accomplished storyteller even as a child, she put this talent on hold while raising a family and establishing a career. She came to Bloomington in 1963 to pursue a master’s degree. She stayed on to earn a Ph.D. and teach in the department of speech and hearing science and at the Kelley School of Business. She and her husband helped found Options for Better Living, now called LifeDesigns, an organization that creates opportunies for people with disabilities in Monroe and surrounding counties.
Upon retiring after 38 years of teaching and clinical work at IU, Gladys again turned to acting and storytelling. She has performed with the Cardinal Stage Company, Bloomington Playwrights Project (BPP), Bloomington Civic Theater, Brown County Theater, and the Knickerbocker Theater in Holland, Mich. She has been named a Bloomington Living Legend and received the Lifetime Contribution Award during Women’s History Month in 2012.
When Gladys told Elizabeth’s story this June at Mini University, she garnered rave reviews. She says her story of Elizabeth draws on “historical accounts of life during the early and mid-1800s in and around Southern Indiana’s Harrison County, where the Ohio River forms the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky.”
IURA President John Hobson advises retirees to park in the Assembly Hall lot across 17th Street.
“No permit is necessary,” John says, “and no tickets will be issued.”