Liz and LadyBird: Whistlestop 1964!

Written and Performed by Sheila Gordon | Directed by Rebecca Whitehurst

February 29, 2020 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Witness history as it comes to life through performance.

Program Details

Held throughout the run of This Light of Ours this series builds upon the themes of the exhibition with performance in the Texas Spirit Theater. 

Please note: This program includes a short intermission.

About the Performance

In October of 1964, the Deep South was fiercely set against re-electing President Lyndon Johnson, due to passage of the Civil Rights Act. The LBJ plan: send Lady Bird Johnson through the region to sell the War on Poverty and Civil Rights agendas. It would be the first time in U.S. history that a First Lady would hit the campaign trail unaccompanied by her husband.  Actor and author Sheila Gordon re-enacts the story, playing over 30 characters. Native Texan Liz Carpenter is the central character, who narrates the story in her signature entertaining fashion. Join Ms. Gordon as she takes the audience aboard a campaign train ride that helped to shape the future of women in American politics.


Educators, to receive CPE credit please email

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division the State Preservation Board. Additional support of exhibitions and programs is provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Artist Bios

Sheila Gordon is an award-winning solo performer, professional actor, professor, and dialect coach.  She has performed her original works at the Edinburgh Fringe, L.A Fringe and Austin Frontera Festivals. Gordon’s mercurial vocal and physical approach to characters allows her to transform from character to character with fluidity and ease.

Ms. Gordon helped to shape the solo performance scene in Manhattan during the 1980’s with her solo show, New York: Sex, Killing and the Shopping, in which she played both male and female characters endemic to the street scenes of New York City.  In 2009, she won “Best of Festival” for Folding Houseat the Frontera Short Fringe Festival.  A reworked and retitled version, One Venus Hour was accepted to the EstroGenius Festival in NYC in 2011.  Her current original work, entitled “Liz and LadyBird: Whistlestop 1964!” premiered at the Missouri Solo Play Festival in January 2019.

Gordon’s performing and teaching career has spanned a wide geographic territory:  New York, L.A., Edinburgh, Ukraine, Latvia, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Austria.  Ms. Gordon is currently Associate Professor of Acting and Voice at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX.


Rebecca Whitehurst received her BA in Philosophy from Stanford, and then attended the CalArts MFA program in Choreography before embarking on a professional career with Diavolo Dance Theater. Freelancing as an actor, director, & choreographer in New York City led her to the Institute for Advanced Theater Training MXAT/A.R.T. at Harvard, where she received an MFA in Acting. She continues to work as an Equity actor.

While on a Fulbright Scholarship to Russia, Rebecca spent a year doing research, guest teaching and choreographing for actors at the Moscow Art Theatre School.  

Curating from her multidisciplinary education and professional experience, Rebecca has created a movement approach to voice & speech for performers called Somaesthetic Voice. Areas of interest include Physical Dramaturgy and Intimacy Choreography, Russian Movement Training for the Actor and Director, Tanztheater, Philosophy & Dance, Devised Theatre and Interdisciplinary Collaboration & Creation.   

Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Practice for Acting, Movement and Voice in the Department of Theatre at Northern Arizona University.