Irene Castle
Dancer — Trendsetter — Animal Rights Activist

The entrepreneurial audacity and artistic flair of Vernon and Irene Castle met the new, uniquely American, syncopated or ragged–rhythmed music (aka “Ragtime”) to fuel the dance craze explosion sweeping across America. Vernon and Irene capitalized on the golden age of vaudeville, dreamed up posh dance halls, invented instructional short films, and shot an outrageous silent feature film — netting and splurging fortunes along the way. Their brief, incandescent career strewed numerous legacies in its wake: bobbed hair, challenges to the color barrier, and an unexpected altruism born of a heartless side of vaudeville.

Irene looks back from the 1940s (several husbands and decades later) to reflect on her dance escapades with Vernon, his time as a pilot in World War I, and her second career as an animal rights activist.

The one-hour program consists of a 40-45 minute monologue in-character, followed first by a question and answer period with "Irene Castle" and then by a question and answer period with the scholar/presenter, Susan Marie Frontczak.

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