“First Lady of the Confederacy: An Intimate Conversation with Varina Howell Davis” film will be presented at the 3rdthursdaynoon program on July 18 at the Arts Education Center.

New Adams County resident Rosann Pellegrino will present an independently-produced film about Varina Howell Davis, wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, for the Adams County Arts Council’s 3rdthursdaynoon series on July 18 at the Arts Education Center, 125 S. Washington St., Gettysburg.

The 40-minute film is based on her one-act play and features Pellegrino as Davis.

While living in New Jersey, Pellegrino spent more than 30 years acting in community theater, including two years in New York as a member of Love Creek Productions.

When she was not part of a full production, she created one-woman shows adapted from plays or events in American history, performing in libraries, historical societies and coffee houses.

In 2011, Pellegrino discovered Civil War re-enactments. By 2013, she had written “Conversation Upon the Death of a Daughter,” a one-women play about Varina’s Civil War memories and the death of her daughter Winnie.

She performed this play at the Phil Kearny Civil War Roundtable in Pearl River, N.Y., along with various historical societies in northern New Jersey

Pellegrino met John McCarty, an independent film producer, while performing improv of Varina at the Civil War Heritage Musical Festival.

Their collaboration resulted in the film, which was shot in 2014 in Stephentown, N.Y.

It delves into Varina’s family and childhood, her marriage, public life, Civil War memories, post war struggles, her changed attitude toward slavery and her vision for the country.

The hour-long program is free and open to the public.

Next month’s 3rdthursday program on Aug. 15 will be Deciphering Grief presented by Rev. Sherry Miller.

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