LETTERS HOME – Lunch and Learn Private Event
Friday, December 13
We will explore a time when letters were the life line for those serving overseas and their loved ones back home. Home is the constant theme of those stationed far from the home they loved and mail call was the most cherished time of the day. The loved ones on the home front waited for the mailman and those letters were the only link to that soldier so far from home.
A Salute to the 853rd & a Tribute to the HMT Rohna
100 Veterans Drive
August 31, 2019 at 10am
Catherine will join members of the Halls Veterans Museum to honor the men of the 853rd Engineers Aviation Battalion. The Dyersburg Army Air Base was the largest combat air crew training school during WWII. It was the only inland training base for the B 17, the Flying Fortress, the liberator of Europe.
Dyersburg Army Air Base was also the birth place of the 853rd, the unit in which Catherine’s uncle, Lt William George Brown, served. The 853rd was the largest unit on the HMT Rohna. The 853rd lost 62% of her servicemen when the Rohna was hit by a new weapon of war.
Honoring the 75th Anniversary of D Day and Remembering the Rohna
Virginia Beach History Museums
Colonial Education Center
4409 Wishart Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Catherine will share her discovery of the sinking of the HMT Rohna, the worst at sea disaster in US history and its contribution to the liberation of Europe. She will speak as the niece of a survivor, William George Brown, and how his letters and the letters of D Day veterans gave her a front row seat to history.
Day of Remembrance:
A tribute to the Pied Piper of Saipan
The True Story of a World War II Hero
February 23, 2019 – 2 to 5 pm
Byrum Schbert Library
21 Mead Avenue; Greenwich, CT
Professor Greg Robinson and Catherine will tell the story of the Pied Piper of Saipan, Guy Galbaldon. A young Mexican American man is adopted by a Japanese American family in Los Angeles. Growing up in East Los Angeles, young Guy learns to speak Japanese and comes to love the Japanese culture of his family. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, young Guy lies about his age and joins the Marines. The Marines send this Japanese speaking Mexican American to the Pacific Theatre. At the age of 18, this Marine captured or persuaded to surrender more than 1,300 Japanese soldiers and civilians during the Battles of Saipan and Tinian Island. He repeatedly risks his life to save his fellow Marines.
In 1960, the movie, Hell to Eternity, was released. Hell to Eternity was the first movie to chronicle the unjust treatment of Japanese Americans during the War. The movie will be shown followed by a talkback.
Professor Robinson , a native New Yorker, teaches American History at the University of Quebec. He is a specialist in North American Ethnic Studies and US Political Policy. He received his M.A. and Ph.D in American History from New York University and a B.A. in History and French Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
A native of East Los Angeles, Catherine was the childhood friend of the children of the Pied Piper. Through Mr. Galbaldon, she was introduced to the experience of Japanese Americans in the San Gabriel Valley. Her involement with Japanese Americans was rekindled many years later with the discovery of letters written by young women who wrote poignant letters from their internment camps. Their alma mater, Mills College, was very supportive of her students and preserved their letters. The letters reflect the resilience of these young women taken from their communities to isolated camps around the country. Catherine has turned these letters into plays and programs. Catherine is a graduate of Mills College and Harvard University.
The Day of Remembrance marks the day of February 19, 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led to the incarceration of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry.
November 26, 2018 – 4PM
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
4079 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, New York
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the HMT Rohna, the FDR Library will present a panel discussion to tell the story of those who perished and those who survived the greatest at sea disaster of Word War II. Catherine will join Jack and Barbara Ballo and John Dolan to honor those ordinary Americans who saved the world. Like Catherine, the Ballos and John Dolan discovered their connection to the Rohna through the discovery of old letters and newspaper clippings. The discovery led them to tell the story of this tragedy that has been lost to history.
This 75th anniversary presentation marks the first time the FDR Library has showcased the Rohna though the tragedy was classified by the American government.
It is fitting that Ordinary Americans will be presented on November 26. On that day 75 years ago, the Rohna was struck by a new weapon of war which resulted in the loss of more than 1,000 American servicemen.
For more information on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, please visit their website. www.fdrlibrary.org.
The Radio Broadcast Premiere
Sunday, July 8, 2018 @ 2PM
Dyersburg State Community College
First Citizens Bank Building
1510 Lake Road
Following their standing room only performance at the 75th Anniversary Reunion, June 22, the Theatre Group of the Dyer County Arts Council will again present Apron Strings. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the 853rd Engineers Aviation Battalion. Established in Halls, Tennessee in January 1943, the 853rd was the largest military unit on the HMT Rohna when it was hit by a radar controlled guided missile November 26, 1943. The 853rd lost more than 60% of its men. The men of the 853rd, including Eva’s brother Lt William Brown, would go onto to India to build runways for the B-29s.
Since learning of the connection to the 853rd and the HMT Rohna, the Dyersburg-Dyer County Historical Society and Arts Council will continue to honor the men who trained at the Dyersburg Army Air Base and served with courage and honor during Word War II.
75th Anniversary Reunion of the Rohna Survivors Association
June 20-24, 2018
Crown Plaza Hotel
300 North Second Street
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the missile attack on the British military transport, the HMT Rohna, the Reunion will be held in Memphis, Tennessee. The sinking of the HMT Rohna is the worst at sea disaster in American history. More than 1,100 American servicemen perished. The largest unit on the Rohna was the 853rd Engineers Aviation Battalion, a new unit formed in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
The Theatre Company of the Dyersburg Historical Society will perform Apron Strings June 22 at 2:30. A talkback with the actors, survivors and family members will follow the performance.
April 3, 2018 at 3 PM
April 5, 2018 at 7 PM
Vanderbilt Education Center
Greenwich Historical Society
39 Strickland Road
In conjunction with An American Odyssey: The Jewish Experience in Greenwich, the Historical Society will present Dear Mom and Dad, a dramatic reading to honor the young men and women who served their country and honor those brave Americans of Jewish heritage. Herb Rosencrans was the first born son of Jewish immigrants who came through Ellis Island as small children. Their first born American would go on to serve his country with great distinction. Herb’s younger brother, Bob, lent Catherine Herb’s letters home to his dear parents. Herb’s letters were turned into a dramatic play which chronicles the sacrifice of one Jewish family. The performance will be dedicated to Bob Rosencrans who, like his older brother, served his country during WWII.
A discussion with the audience will follow the performance.
For more information on the American Odyssey at the Historical Society, please check their website www.greenwichhistory.org.
The Women Back Home
March 10, 2018 from 11am -12 noon
Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park
1414 Harbour Way South
Richmond, CA 94804
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – cIick here for more info
In commemoration of National Women’s History Month, Catherine and theater students from Mills College will present The Women Back Home. We will go back to the home front of 1944 as the women carry on and keep the home fires burning as their men serve overseas. The wives, mothers, sweethearts of servicemen work in factories, plant victory gardens and manage the home, counting the days til their boys come marching home. Based on letters written to a new bride, a sweetheart, a sister and a mother, we will return to a time when service and sacrifice were the order of the day.
The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historic Site is dedicated to telling the stories of the home front. To learn more, please visit the website, www.nps.gov/rori.
A Tribute to a Jewish Soldier
September 16, 2017 at 1PM
Eisenhower National Historic Site
250 Eisenhower Farm Road
As part of the WWII Weekend, a Tribute to a Jewish Soldier will honor the contribution of Herb Rosencrans and other Jewish soldier boys who served their country during the War. Based on the letters Herb wrote home to Dear Mom and Dad, a Tribute will commemorate the valor of Herb Rosencrans, the first born son of Jewish immigrants who came through Ellis Island to find a new life.
National Women’s History Month
March 25 and 26, 2017 from 11a to 12:30p
Rosie the Riveter / Home Front National Historic Site
Visitor Education Center
1414 Harbor Way South, Suite 3000
A Future Day of Radiant Peace
United We Can Win
Catherine will present her personal journey with her fellow Americans of Japanese ancestry on March 25. A discussion with follow.
On Sunday, March 26, theatre students from Mills College will perform A Future Day of Radiant Peace, a play based on the letters Mills Japanese Americans students wrote to their beloved President.
The Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historic Site honors the effort and sacrifice of Americans who served on the Home Front. The Rosie Site is located on the grounds of the Kaiser Shipyards where the Rosies produced 747 liberty ships.
From El Monte to Oakland, California
Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street, Oakland, California
Monday, February 20, 2017 at 6PM
To honor the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, the Asian Cultural Center will present a Day of Remembrance.
Catherine will present her personal journey with Americans of Japanese ancestry. A native of East Los Angeles, Catherine grew up unaware of the important contribution Japanese immigrants made to the community. One day, an awakening to this sad chapter in American history led her to tell the story of her fellow Americans. A graduate of Mills College, Catherine will chronicle the experience of Mills College students as they make the most of their new lives in internment camps far from home. Through their letters to the beloved President of the College, the Mills sisters vividly paint a picture of their new lives behind barbed wired while affirming their faith in the future.
The Asian Cultural Center will open an exhibit on the internment camps in June and present programs throughout the year to tell the story of Japanese Americans during WWII.
For more information on the Center, please visit their website www.oacc.cc.
Grace is a conscientious child-development major who practices everything she learns on the Non-Res girls. She is no bigger than a minute; a fact which is a great handipcap in her department. You can’t locate her in a group of Toyon children. She has been tapped for Palladium and is an active member of Cosmopolitan Club – witness her decorations at last year’s folk festival. Her pet slogan: “An ounce of prevention…”
The Life and Loves of Rosie the Riveter
Thursday, December 8, 2016 – 1PM
December 8 marks the 75th anniversary of the US declaration of War.
Milford Senior Center
9 Jepson Drive; Milford, Connecticut
Catherine will present Rosie the Riveter in a new light. Still the hard working, girl behind the man behind the gun, this Rosie is the sweetheart of every soldier behind that gun. Based on the letters written to Catherine’s father, Private Harry Ladnier, we will look at Rosie when she wasn’t drilling in that aircraft factory. Harry’s Rosies–and there were more than one–are fun loving and living every moment to the fullest.
Sponsored by the Army Heritage Center Foundation
Date: October 8, 2016
Time: 2 PM
Location: Army Heritage and Education Center
950 Soldiers Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013
Free and Open to the Public
Apron Strings is a dramatic play reading that Chronicles the tumultuous years of WWII through the lives of Eva Lee who keeps the home fires burning while her beloved brother, Bill, serves his country and his devoted wife, Mae, counts the days of her Bill’s return.
World War II Weekend – HOMAGE FOR THE JEWISH SOLDIER
September 17, 2016
A commemoration of the life, service and sacrifice of Corporal Herbert Rosencrans. Through his letters home to Dear Mom and Dad, Herb writes eloquently of his love of family and country and his service to the land of his birth.
“We should get down on our knees and thank god every day for being born American. I fight now to come home. I fight to deserve to come home. May God grant me that privilege.”
The first born son of Jewish immigrants, Herb served his country with great distinction. Herb’s mother, Eva Rosencrans, would become a famous dress designer whose clients included Mamie Eisenhower. Eva designed the First Lady’s inaugural gowns.
Dear Mom and Dad was first performed at the Museum of American Jewish Military History Veterans Day, 2013. Join Catherine Ladnier, and friends of Dear Mom and Dad for a salute to this American hero.
To learn more about the Eisenhower Farm. please visit their website www.nps.gov/eise.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 2PM
Hagaman Memorial Library
227 Main Street
East Haven, Ct.
As part if the Hagaman Library’s World War II Veterans Discussion Group, a reading of Apron Strings will be presented. This play reading of Apron Strings will commemorate the anniversary of the sinking of the HMT Rohna, the largest loss of American troops at sea. Apron Strings chronicles the tumultuous years of WWII through the lives of Eva Lee who keeps the home fires burning while her beloved brother, Bill, serves his country and his devoted wife, Mae, counts the days of her Bill’s return.
October 29, 2015 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Anne Frank Center, 44 Park Place, New York City
Professor Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt and Catherine will again join forces to present their personal journey with Japanese Americans during WWII. Kim and Catherine’s program is part of the Anne
Frank Center’s events to honor the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. Kim and Catherine first presented their program at the FDR Library to honor the Day of Remembrance. Since that event in February, Professor Roosevelt’s new novel, AllEGIANCE, has been released to critical acclaim. The Anne Frank Center USA, a partner of the Anne Frank House, uses the diary and spirit of Anne Frank as unique tools to educate young people and communities in North America about the dangers of intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and to inspire the next generation to build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect. The incarceration of more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry is an injustice that Anne Frank would have fought against. To learn more about the Anne Frank Center, please visit their website www.annefrankcenter.com. Please visit Kim’s tumbir site to learn more about his new novel. Allegiance is now available in bookstores and online. http://pennlaw.tumblr.com/post/126996257224/professor-kermit-roosevelts-new-book-allegiance).
To Mark the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II A dramatic reading of Apron Strings will be performed as part of the annual Reunion of the Rohna Survivors Association. Apron Strings chronicles the love between Lt. William Brown, a survivor, and his devoted wife, Mae, who writes to her Bill and her sister-in-law, Eva Lee. The HMT Rohna is the worst at sea disaster in US history. Bill Brown survived the sinking but more than 1,000 American servicemen did not. The disaster was classified by the American and British governments for 50 years.
April 26, 2015 at 3pm
Jewish Cultural Festival
Lyndhurst, 635 S. Broadway
Tarrytown, New York
The Jewish Community Center on the Hudson will present the third annual Jewish Cultural Festival, a celebration of Jewish arts, history and rich contribution to American culture. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, the Festival will feature a dramatic reading of Dear Mom and Dad.
First performed at the Museum of American Jewish Military History, Dear Mom and Dad honors the life and service of Herb Rosencrans, the first born American son of Jewish immigrants. Dear Mom and Dad centers around the bond between two mothers whose sons served during WWII, two sons who served their country. Only one will come home. Eva Rosencrans and Marjorie Wylie represent the mothers who prayed every day for the end of the War.
To learn more about the Festival, please visit the website of JCC on the Hudson – jcconthehudson.org.
Day of Remembrance
Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. Day of Remembrance program to recognize the beginning of Japanese American internment during World War II Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Henry A. Wallace Center FDR Presidential Library and Home 4079 Albany Post Road | Hyde Park, NY 12538
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum will present a Day of Remembrance program to recognize the beginning of Japanese American internment during World War II on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. To honor the Day of Remembrance, Theodore Roosevelt great-great grandson Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt and playwright Catherine Ladnier will present a legal and personal journey of the Japanese American experience during World War II. The program will take place in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home. This event is free and open to the general public.
The Day of Remembrance (February 19) marks the occasion of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942. Executive Order 9066 led to the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans.
Catherine Ladnier’s journey with Americans of Japanese ancestry is also a personal journey. A graduate of Mills College, Ladnier will chronicle the experience of her Mills sisters as they make the most of their new lives in the camps through a dramatic performance. Through their letters to the beloved President of the College, the Japanese American students affirmed their faith in the future. Catherine is a playwright who uses original letters to tell the story of the Greatest Generation.
Dear Eva Readings
North Haven Memorial Library North Haven, Connecticut
November 7, 2014 @ 7pm
Institute for Learning in Retirement
Albertus Magnus College New Haven, Connecticut
Catherine and Paul will read highlights from Dear Eva to honor Connecticut’s veterans.
November 8, 2014 @ 1pm
Branford Library Branford, Connecticut
Catherine and Paul will read highlights from Dear Eva to honor Branford’s veterans.
The Future Day of Radiant Peace
September 20, 2014 at 2:00pm
Mills College, Oakland, California
Explore the experience of Japanese Americans during WWII through the letters of Mills College students who wrote to college president Aurelia Henry Reinhardt from their internment camps. The ever-resilient Mills girls, despite their unjust imprisonment far from home, strove to make the best of the hand they were dealt while looking forward to a Future Day of Radiant Peace. Reinhardt (one of the first female Ph.D. graduates from Yale University) and her staff defied the prejudice and hysteria of the time to support their Nisei students. Mills students will perform the roles of their Mills sisters.
A dramatic reading of The Future Day of Radiant Peace.The script is based on letters written by Mills College women of Japanese ancestry. Far from home and far from their beloved college, the Mills women made the best of their lives in internment camps while they dreamed of and worked for that future day. The Future Day of Radiant Peace will be performed as part of the 2014 Reunion Weekend and will honor those brave young women and President Aurelia Henry Reinhardt, who braved the injustice of the time to support her students.
May 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm
Reading at the New Canaan Library 151 Main Street New Canaan, CT 06840
Theatrical Reading of Dear Eva
January 24, 2014 – 3:00 PM
Indian River State College – IRSC Foundation Lifelong Learning
Catherine and Paul will perform a theatrical reading of Dear Eva. A gem on the Treasure Coast, Ft. Pierce is one of the oldest communities in Florida. The National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized this vibrant town in 2011 with the Great American Main Street Award. To learn more about Ft. Pierce and the community’s commitment to their historic downtown, please visit www.mainstreetfortpierce.org.
Dear Mom and Dad
November 11, 2013 Veterans Day, Washington, D.C. 2PM
Museum of American Jewish Military History
Dear Mom and Dad – A Theatrical Reading
A commemoration of the life, service and sacrifice of Corporal Herbert Rosencrans. Through his letters home, Herb chronicles his service to his country and love of home. Herb served with distinction and valor exemplifying those honored on this day. Herbert Rosencrans was born in New York City October, 1923 to Eva and Alvin Rosencrans–the first born son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Austria. Herb was the boy every Mom and Dad wishes for and prays will become the man every Mom and Dad looks up to. To learn more about the proud history of Jews in the American military, please visit the Museum’s website www.nmajmh.org.
October 10, 2013 3PM
Quinnipiac University, Student Center 119
Catherine and Paul Jannesch will read Dear Eva. Inspired by Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself from Leaves of Grass, Yawp provides a forum to highlight the creative work of writers within the University community. To learn more about Creative Minds in Action, visit Yawp’s website – www.qumontage.com/category/yawp
Dear Eva Readings
Wednesday, July 25, 2013 – 7:00 pm
Catherine Ladnier and Paul Janensch read highlights from Dear Eva
Orange Library, Orange CT
Sunday, June 9, 2013 – 2:00 pm
The Catherine Lindsey Memorial Actors/Playwrights Workshop presented a festival of new plays. Actors performed a 10 minute reading from Dear Eva for the festival.
Darien Library, Darien CT Friday,
June 14, 2013, 7:00 pm
Catherine Ladnier and Paul Janensch read highlights from Dear Eva
Killingworth Library, Killingworth CT
May 8, 2013
Merci, Yanks was performed at the Scarsdale Club.
Merci, Yanks, first performed to honor the 65th anniversary of VE Day, chronicles the liberation of Europe through letters and period music. The letters, written by Americans soldiers to loved ones back home, tell a story of World War II through the eyes of the ordinary GI Joe as he marches through France and Belgium to Victory. Letters shared with Catherine by old friends and new friends plus letters from Eva. tell another story of life as the War nears its end. One D Day veteran, who was raised in France, writes of his love for the French people. Another Yank writes his wife of the suffering and endurance of the French people while another Joe writes of Belgians kissing them as they liberated their villages. Another Yank writes his wife that he has seen Paris and nothing will be the same. Merci, Yanks commemorates the bond between the American, French and Belgian people. Details of this event will be posted nearer the date.
The Apron Strings
Friday, May 17, 2013
The Apron Strings (a work in progress). A reading of love letters between Mae Brown and her husband, Lt William Brown, a survivor of the sinking of the Rohna.
Rohna Survivors Association Reunion, Omaha, Nebraska
The Future Day of Radiant Peace
Explore the experience of Japanese Americans during WWII through the letters of Mills College students who wrote to college president Aurelia Henry Reinhardt from their internment camps. The ever-resilient Mills girls, despite their unjust imprisonment far from home, strove to make the best of the hand they were dealt while looking forward to a Future Day of Radiant Peace. Reinhardt (one of the first female Ph.D. graduates from Yale University) and her staff defied the prejudice and hysteria of the time to support their Nisei students. Website: www.greenwichhistory.org
April 25, 2013
Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT
The Future Day of Radiant Peace as part of Greenwich Reads Together. The book selected for this year, “When the Emperor was Devine” by Julie Otsuka.
Dear Eva Reading, Easley SC
April 20, 2013
Catherine Ladnier read highlights from Dear Eva and chronicled the contribution of Pickens County, South Carolina to Winning WWII Kimberly Hampton Library, Easley, South Carolina
Watermark University, Bridgeport, CT
On November 9, 2012, Watermark University in Bridgeport, CT – Presented Highlights from Dear Eva as part of Watermarks’ program of lifetime learning. For additional information on other programs offered at Watermark, please check out their website www.watermarkcommunities.com.
Hudson River Museum – Women and War-Portraits
In 1943, the Museum organized a project to honor young women who joined the WACs, the Women’s Army Corps, by enlisting local artist, Francis Vandeveer Kugler. Kugler painted their portraits which, were donated to the Museum. The goal was to ensure that “future generations should have a living record of our fighting women who volunteered to serve their country.” The portraits have not been on public display since the War years. As part of of this exciting project, the Museum hosted a Brown Bag Lunch and Roundtable with Catherine. The Brown Bag Lunch highlighted the role of women on the homefront who also served, but in different ways than their sisters in uniform. This six-week series included: Highlights from Dear Eva, with a discussion on how to turn letters into a play, The Japanese-American experience, Servicewoman in Westchester Women and War, The Life and Loves of Rosie the Riveter, The Girl Singers of 1944 and One Soldier Boy, and The Girls Back Home. Learn more about this exciting program at the Museum’s website www.hrm.org.
The Shawnee Playhouse
As part of their 2012 Original Playwright Contest, presented The Great Depression Cabaret. The Worthington Players performed the Cabaret in front of a live audience who judged the cabaret as part of a contest to determine the winning play that will be featured in the 2013 season at the Playhouse, also performed at the Playhouse was Love in a Time of War
Other Performances & Venues
The Russell Library
One Book Program – Highlights from Dear Eva.
Federation of the Alliance Francaise
Merci Yanks Workshop
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
The House I Live In
Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich, CT
Discovering Uncle Harrington, Act I of Dear Eva, Act II of Dear Eva
Theatre at the University of Memphis
Love in a Time of War
Mills College Club of New York
The Girls Back Home
Alliance Francaise and Second Congregational Church
Merci Yanks, D Day
The Foothills Playhouse, Easley, South Carolina
Lest We Forget
Lyndhurst, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Tarrytown, NY
Love in a Time of War