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Every day I read something in the news that strikes me as hypocritical or outrageous, and therefore excellent source material for a play.  Historical figures, just like contemporary figures, are wonderfully full of contradictions, blemishes, and foibles.

Janine Sternlieb

About the Playwright 

Janine Sternlieb was an assistant director in Bay Area productions, including Yoga Play (San Francisco Playhouse), Body Awareness (Main Stage West), and It Can’t Happen Here and Almost, Maine  (Santa Rosa Jr. College).  After the violent Charlottesville riot, she produced a writing contest of short plays on the subject of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (Main Stage West), and began to imagine what the most iconic First Ladies would think of the Trump administration.  As an MA candidate in Theatre at San Francisco State University, Janine wrote The Four Sisters or Time’s Up!:  a Chekhovian Guide to Climate Change. She earned a BA in English from Oberlin College and an MA in teaching from Boston University.  


As an acting teacher, director, and dramaturge I challenge the world around me  with my core tenant, "allow include and permit".  I am excited and honored to be part of a project like First Ladies and The Big White Lie, which aims to challenge the status quo and adapt our culture to allow, include, and permit the truth.

Lennie Dean


About the Co-Playwright 

 Lennie Dean, received an MFA in Acting from the Temple University Advanced Actor Training Program in Philadelphia. She has taught, acted, directed, worked as dramaturge and produced for several theater companies and schools in New York, San Francisco and Sonoma County for over forty years. She is authorized by master acting teacher Eric Morris to teach his technique, The Eric Morris System. Lennie is currently living in Santa Rosa, and along with teaching acting, she is creating Vintage Voices, a “scripts onstage” acting group with actors 55+ years.  Previous directing projects include: Fully Committed, The Revolutionists, Equus, Silent Sky, The Children’s Hour, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Bug, all in Santa Rosa, CA.

You can follow Lennie on Facebook at 

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Eleanor Roosevelt in First Ladies and The Big White Lie

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt

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