I will be in the Cincinnati/Dayton area in early April to put on a presentation for the Hamilton County Historical Society. If any ADs out that way would like to book a performance just before or after April 8, 2009 please drop me a line.
Jessica Michna has traveled extensively portraying First Ladies Abigail Adams, Mary Todd Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt. The performances can be tailored to any group’s demographics. Audiences ranging from young children to senior citizens have been equally enthralled. She has appeared before historical societies, schools, libraries, Living History museums, senior centers, churches, and has been guest hostess at garden parties.
Mrs. Michna’s performances are compelling and emotionally enthralling. Audiences laugh along with her humorous anecdotes about life in the White House. They share in her tears as she relates how the horrors of war have impacted the First Families. She has such a powerful effect on an audience that encores and return appearances are usual occurrences.
A performance includes a prelude of pre-recorded period music giving the audience time to get comfortable and “in the mood”. The First Lady’s presentation runs approximately an hour. The program can be shortened or lengthened to meet specific needs. The First Lady is always open to questions after the program. Performance fees are very reasonable, based on the length of program and distance traveled.
Imagine how fascinating it would be to meet one of history’s most influential and often misunderstood women. Learn how they formed a solid foundation that sustained Presidents through perilous times. Your toughest decision will be which First Lady to invite. Arrange your bookings now.
5328 Willowview Road
Racine, WI 53402
What others are saying
“This month’s entertainment was the most captivating and moving historical presentation that I have, personally, ever experienced!!!” “If you missed it, you missed an extremely memorable experience.”
Newsletter – United Commercial Traveler of Racine/Kenosha
“We’ve seen a lot of Lincolns here but none compare with your Mrs. Lincoln.”
Resident, Villa West, Sherman, Illinois
“Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, portrayed by Mrs. Jessica Michna, kept our members of all ages spellbound with the story of her life, including reminiscences of her girlhood, her courtship and wedding, and her life with the young lawyer and then politician, Abraham Lincoln.”
Burlington Historical Society
“Best turn out we have ever had.”
Sunrise at Church Creek, Arlington Heights, Illinois
“I would like to let you know you were a BIG hit at the meeting.” “I had several people tell me “that was about the best program we have had.”
Ron Nurmi, Des Moines Civil War Roundtable
“I love you Mrs. Roosevelt!”
Bishop of the Green Bay Diocese
“Better than going to New York.”
Resident, Ecumenical Housing, Madison, Wisconsin
“Fantastic!” “I wanted to cry and laugh with Mrs. Roosevelt.”
Resident, Hickory Glen, Springfield, Illinois
“I felt as though I was in the room with Mrs. Lincoln.” “I felt as though I was IN the theater that night.”
Member – New Berlin Historical Society
“Our residents were spellbound.” “Not a word was said during your performance.”
Ginny – Luther Manor Terrace
“The staff was very impressed, they couldn’t stop talking about you.” We had such wonderful comments from the guests.” “We want to book you again to make sure you are available for next year.”
Dan Liedtke – Heritage Hill State Park
”No one has ever held this audience like you.”
Ms. C.J. Morgan
Former Activities Director
Kirby Pines, Memphis, TN
Originally from Pennsylvania, Jessica Michna developed a love of American history at an early age, visiting the many Revolutionary and Civil War sites in the area. Her love of both history and the theater was encouraged by an older brother. During her high school years she appeared in various productions and designed and constructed costumes. She was offered a scholarship to the Goodman School of Theater in Chicago.
Jessica’s theatrical aspirations were put on hold while she raised a family of four daughters. While a student she authored a paper on the influence of women in government. This project would re-ignite her interest in Mrs. Lincoln. After earning a degree in psychology from the UW she worked in healthcare, research, and as a teaching assistant. Finally, Jessica was able to return to her two great loves, history and theater.
The result was the birth of “First Impressions”. After almost two years of research, script writing, costume construction, and endless rehearsals, Mary Todd Lincoln was ready for her public. Audiences loved Mary, but wanted more. In 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt made her debut, and well, the rest is history. A third First Lady has joined the troupe. Abigail Adams shares the story of the birth of this great nation.
Jessica makes her home with her husband, Michael in Racine, Wisconsin. The Michna's share their home with a temperamental Welsh Pembroke Corgi by the name of Charles and three cats. When not performing, Mrs. Michna enjoys gardening, cooking, sewing, and writing.
First Impressions Presents
As the nineteenth century dawned the infant nation of America stretched and grew across the continent. For the second time the reins of power had been peacefully transferred to the newly elected president, Thomas Jefferson. John and Abigail Adams had retired to their farm outside of Weymouth, Massachusetts. Abigail settled into the calm life of the Adams’ farm, content to finally have Mr. Adams to herself. After forty years of marriage Abigail looks back to the days of her early marriage as the young wife and mother. Referring to the many letters written between the Adams, she recalls the days of revolution and uncertainty. She reminisces about the friendships forged in France and England as a diplomat’s wife. Mrs. Adams brings to life the early days of Washington, D.C. as seen from the windows of an unfinished White House.
First Impressions Presents
Mary Todd Lincoln
After the assassination of her husband, Abraham, Mary Lincoln was an unsettled spirit. She had lived in New York, Chicago and even Europe, but could never find rest. Mary had lost three of her four sons and suffered estrangement from her eldest, Robert. Set upon by creditors, plagued by declining health and always weighed down by her overwhelming grief, Mrs. Lincoln had become a sad and dejected figure. This was a far cry from the youthful woman who had captured all of the hearts of Springfield in 1837. Mrs. Lincoln’s life has come full circle as she returns to Springfield, Illinois to take up residence with her sister Elizabeth. She recalls the days of her girlhood in the genteel society of Lexington, Kentucky, her marriage to the gangly young lawyer, and eventually her rise to become the First Lady.
First Impressions Presents
As the Second World War ended, America experienced the loss of its’ stalwart leader, President Franklin Roosevelt. After thirteen years as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt hoped to retire and perhaps write her memoirs. By 1948 the world had changed dramatically and so had Eleanor.
She shares with the audience her tragedies and triumphs. Born into the opulent wealth of America’s “Golden Age” she would grow from the shy, homely orphan into confident, driven woman. Annealed by personal tragedy, she would emerge as a champion of civil rights, author, and stateswoman. She is best summed up by President Harry S. Truman, who dubbed her “The First Lady of the World.”