Premier of one-woman show receives standing ovation

May 14, 2023

MARION— Marion resident and lead actress Linda Monchik said she was admittedly not a fan of Eleanor Roosevelt prior to starring as her in “An Hour with Eleanor” at the Marion Art Center on Saturday, May 13. 

“My father never liked FDR and Eleanor, so I kind of had an aversion for her,” said Monchik. “I knew that I had to find out more about her.”

The play follows Eleanor Roosevelt throughout her life and depicts her strength as she supported her husband despite his unfaithfulness all while fighting for human rights including equal representation for women in politics, public housing programs and protective laws for workers.

“How could one woman do all that,” asked Monchik. “I mean, she just didn’t stop.”

During her research for the role, Monchik said that she not only studied Eleanor Roosevelt’s background but also learned about her personal perspective. 

“I’ve never seen an actress dive into a character like that,” said program mentor Maura Barry Van Voris. “I’ve been impressed since day one.”

“An Hour with Eleanor” was the first script chosen for the Marion Art Center’s Playwright Incubator program, said Playwright Cynthia Krause.

The Playwright Incubator takes local, unpublished playwrights and helps bring their ideas to the stage, according to program mentor Maura Barry Van Voris.

The team including program mentors and directors Maura and her father Richard Van Morris worked with Krause and Monchik to streamline the play.

According to Krause, she was encouraged by a friend to write a play showcasing Eleanor Roosevelt. She said that it took her ten years to research and write the play. 

“I think people have forgotten about her,” said Krause referring to Eleanor Roosevelt. “She felt driven to go out there and help the world and she paid…she helped an amazing amount of people and that story should be told.”

“An Hour With Eleanor” will be performed at the Marion Art Center at 2 p.m on May 21 and 28.

“An Hour With Eleanor” is a part of South Coast Spring Arts. For more information on the Marion Art Center’s Spring Arts events, visit