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updated: 2/15/2012 11:59 AM

Lincoln Dinner Theater explores Mary Todd's perspective

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Submitted by Batavia Park District

The Batavia Depot Museum will present the 10th annual Lincoln Dinner Theater at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at the Lincoln Inn, 1345 S. Batavia Ave. The cost is $37 and includes buffet dinner and performance. Tickets are on sale now at the Batavia Park District Civic Center, 327 W. Wilson St., the Eastside Community Center, 14 N. Van Buren St., or the Depot Museum, 155 Houston St.

It's December 1863. The Civil War rages on without an end in sight. At the White House, Mrs. Lincoln's younger half-sister, Emilie. is visiting. Emilie and Mary discuss their lives leading up to the war and reminisce about happier times in Lexington, Ky. and Springfield. They discuss the war years and the tragedies that have befallen their family. The war has torn their family apart. Will it tear the sisters apart as well?

Mary Lincoln is portrayed by Valerie Gugala. Gugala has performed for schools, churches, senior groups and park districts throughout the Chicago area. She has spent more than 30 years researching the Lincoln family and has been performing as Mrs. Lincoln for almost 10 years. She is the theater coordinator for the Bartlett Park District community theater.

Kari Jones is active in community theater in the suburbs of Chicago. She also regularly participates in theater for young audiences and families. Her interest in Civil War history began when she was very young. When she was invited by Gugala to research the life of Emilie Todd Helm for this program, it was a natural fit.

For information or to purchase tickets, call the Batavia Park District at (630) 879-5235 or the Batavia Depot Museum at (630) 406-5274.