Although cut tragically short, the life of Frances “Fanny” Adeline Seward (1844 — 1866) was remarkable. The youngest of five children born to William Seward and his wife Frances, Fanny bore direct witness to her father’s rise as a premier statesman.

She stood by her father’s side as he joined the Lincoln administration, and she pleaded for his life when an assassin came for him the same night that the country lost Lincoln. Closer to home in Auburn, she watched as her mother transformed their house into a stop on the Underground Railroad, defying federal law as the nation faced its “irrepressible conflict.”

Based on the diaries kept by Fanny during the Civil War era, The Innocence of Experience reveals an American girl living through an extraordinary time. Her unique perspective brings the audience into the Lincoln White House and the highest reaches of power in the Union government, yet it also chronicles the familiar everyday experiences of a teenager growing up and encountering the world.

This original one woman show, written and performed by Maria Coleman, is made possible, in part, with public funds from NYSCA’s Decentralization Program, administered locally by Finger Lakes Community Arts Grants.

The performance is 45 minutes long with a Q&A afterwards.