|Colleen Smith Wallnau as Mary Todd Lincoln
Colleen Smith Wallnau repeats her "stunning performance"
(Robert L. Daniels, Variety) as Mary Todd Lincoln, a very complex and misunderstood figure in American History.
Journey into the mind of Mary Todd Lincoln, one of the most complex and misunderstood
figures in American History."I would rather marry a man of mind.., with a hope and bright prospects ahead for position,
fame and power, than to many all the houses of gold," proclaimed the genteel and aristocratic Mary Todd, shortly before
her controversial marriage to the humble, but ambitious lawyer, Abraham Lincoln, in Springfield, Ill, in 1842. Now, more than
150 years later, the life of Mary Todd is the subject of the new play Mary Todd...A Woman Apart.
Written by Centenary Stage
Company's artistic Director, Carl Wallnau, Mary Todd...A Woman Apart explores the intriguing life of a woman who in her youth
was said to be "the very creature of excitement." Mary Todd's life as the wife of Abraham Lincoln was destined to
be mercurial. Born to an affluent family of Lexington, KY, Todd received an excellent education uncharacteristic of women
in her day. She was outspoken and steadfast in her belief in her husband's abilities and potential, although their early years
together brought financial struggles.Todd's tenure in the white house as "First Lady" mingled misery with triumph.
An extravagant entertainer, Todd set her guests at ease at opulent social gatherings in the White House, but it was in the
White House that she also suffered the death of her favorite son, Willie, and then her husband's assassination as she sat
in the box next to him at the Ford's theatre that fateful night in 1865.Shattered by the death of loved ones, Todd hovered
between depression and a tortured fear of poverty. In 1875, Todd's son Robert brought insanity proceedings against his mother,
which led to a four-month residency in a private sanitarium. To this day the question of Mary Todd's "sanity" is
the subject of speculation. In July of 1876, with the help of a political ally, Todd received a new hearing and another jury
declared her "sane." Mary Todd died in 1882 in Springfield, Ill, in the same house from which she walked out as
the spirited and hopeful bride of Abraham Lincoln, 40 years before.
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