ATASCADERO — Hearst Castle is a state monument dedicated to the memory of two people; “to William Randolph Hearst, who built it, and Phoebe Apperson Hearst, who inspired it.” Everyone has heard of William but who was his mother, Phoebe?
Phoebe Apperson Hearst was one of the most influential philanthropists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She founded organizations and sponsored innovations that affect Americans every day. The University of California at Berkeley, the PTA, Mount Vernon, and the National Cathedral School are just a few of the institutions that, if not for the “little lady from California,” might not exist for the 21st century public.
The Atascadero Performing Arts Center Committee presents “Afternoon Tea with Phoebe Hearst,” a one-woman performance featuring local actress and former Hearst Castle guide Karen Harris as Phoebe. This event is presented with a formal afternoon tea service featuring fancy desserts, a glass of sparkling wine or cider, English black tea and “Blue Eyes” fruit tea served with vintage china cups and teapots on April 13, which happens to also be the 100th Anniversary of Phoebe’s death.
Harris presents stories from Phoebe’s life in costume and in the “Chautauqua” style of lectures designed to provide higher learning to adults in an informal setting that were popular in the late 19th century. After the presentation, Harris will answer questions about Phoebe Hearst’s life while in character, and later take informal questions about the performance and the Hearst family. Harris has spent years researching Phoebe’s life and portrays her in an authentic interactive performance. The event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and will be held at The Atascadero Community Church’s Fellowship Hall, located at 5850 Rosario in Atascadero.
APACC’s mission is to provide a permanent, joint-use facility where the youth and adults of the community may develop, express or experience live performances of all forms of art.
APACC is working in conjunction with the Atascadero Printery Foundation which recently acquired the historic Printery in downtown Atascadero to rehabilitate and create a community theater in that space. This event is a fundraiser toward those efforts.
Tickets are $50 and available at the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, 6907 El Camino Real, or online at BrownPaperTickets.com (search Phoebe Hearst). Or call 805-712-9824.
This event is guaranteed to sell out – limited seating available. Guests are encouraged to dress in tea party attire. Parking available at the back of the church.