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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Star Spangled Girls

Five actresses in play wearing suits and costume hats

Star Spangled Girls premiered on November 8, 2005, on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). A mixture of music and drama, entertainment and history, the play recognizes the unsung heroines of World War II—the women who served in the military.

While very pleased with the success of the Women Veterans Historical Project web site, the WVHP wanted to reach other audiences with the story of these pioneering women. In September 2003, an NEH Consultation grant brought seven historians to UNCG to discuss the future direction of the project. From this meeting came the suggestion that a dramatic presentation based on the oral histories and manuscripts in the collection would have the potential to reach another audience.

At our request, Brenda Schleunes, founder and artistic director of the Touring Theater of North Carolina, produced such a play. From the words of thirty-one veterans represented in the Women Veterans Historical Collection, she created five composite characters who meet twenty years after the war and reminisce about their military experiences. The play follows the women from recruitment and basic training through work assignments in the United States and overseas to the end of the war. Stories of love and adventure, patriotism and sacrifice, and loss and discrimination reveal how these “star-spangled girls” became pioneers in the women’s movement.

Star Spangled Girls is currently available for booking across the state; more information is available at Touring Theatre of North Carolina.