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Skala to tell story of aunt in 'Felicitas'

Published 9:53 am, Monday, November 11, 2013
  • Writer/performer Libby Skala, who grew up in Darien, returns to New Canaan with her new solo work "Felicitas" Sunday, Nov. 17, at Lapham Community Center in Waveny Park. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed / New Canaan News Contributed
    Writer/performer Libby Skala, who grew up in Darien, returns to New Canaan with her new solo work "Felicitas" Sunday, Nov. 17, at Lapham Community Center in Waveny Park. Photo: Contributed Photo, Contributed

 

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Writer/performer Libby Skala, who grew up in Darien, returns to Lapham Community Center in New Canaan with her new solo work, "Felicitas," a blend of storytelling and live music offering glimpses into the life of Austrian-American baby nurse Felicitas "Litzi" Sofer, her great-aunt.

The performance will take place at Lapham Community Center in Waveny Park at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17. Born in turn-of-the-century Vienna under the Hapsburg Empire, Sofer devotes herself to keeping babies alive and teaching new mothers effective tough-love baby care techniques of the day.

The youngest daughter of a Catholic mother and Jewish father, she grows up under the shadow of two forceful older sisters. Carving out her own path, she fulfills her dream of establishing structure to brand-new lives, while struggling to balance her personal life with her professional devotion.

Her great-aunt was the nurse in attendance at Skala's home birth.

"Felicitas" is the third show in a trilogy.

"I'm intrigued by these women who survived two world wars, became refugees from Hitler, and built successful careers with persistence, faith and determination, each leaving an indelible mark on her profession," Skala said.

Music in "Felicitas" is written and performed on mandolin by Skala's husband, Steven May, a multi-instrumentalist in several genres.

Skala, who wrote "Felicitas," has performed across America and in Canada and Europe. "Lilia!," her first show, is a tribute to her grandmother, Lilia Skala, who gave an Oscar-nominated performance in the 1963 film classic, "Lilies of the Field." "A Time to Dance" won the Best Solo Performer award at the London Fringe Theatre Festival.

Admission is free, but reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 203-594-3620. For information, visit www.laphamcenter.org.