It was a new world. The settlers from England had gained a foothold in the verdant land called “Amerika.” Old traditions would be laid aside with new ones instituted. Greed, jealousy and suspicion would persist. Were these at the root of the Salem witch trials? Innocent residents of Salem, Massachusetts, were tried, and many executed, in perhaps the most infamous chapter in early American history.
Meet Goode Rebeka, an elderly woman hanged as a witch in 1692 — but was she? Jessica Michna of Historical First Impressions theater company will portray Goode Rebeka in “Trial by Fire — the Salem Witch Trials” May 12 to conclude the “Thursdays at the U” spring series at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.
The presentation will be from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall (Room 234, Ritzinger Hall) on the Rice Lake campus. Those who cannot attend in person can watch the livestream.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Michna developed a love of history at an early age. She and her family visited many historic sites throughout the U.S. Her school years would find her appearing in various productions, and, upon graduation, several scholarships were offered to further her studies in theater arts.
Michna opted instead to earn a degree in psychology from the UW System, working for several years as a researcher and lecturer. Her love of theater and history eventually led her to found Historical First Impressions. In 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Service Center’s Distinguished Service Award for her riveting portrayals of first ladies.
The “Thursdays at the U” weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for campus guests. Masks are encouraged but not required on UW-Eau Claire campuses, including UW-Eau Claire – Barron County.
For more information about the series, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.