When he died, Cynthia Gillard's Grandfather Hastings left behind a scrapbook of his vaudeville days, now 100 years old. Gillard’s historical novel, titled When Vaudeville Came to Joplin, is based on her grandparents' experiences before they moved to Oak Park in 1920. Gillard will share stories from her book and her grandparents’ lives when she presents on Sunday, November 4 at 3pm at the Main Library. The event, in collaboration with the Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest, is free and open to the public.
Cynthia Gillard is granddaughter of Clifford Augustus Hastings and Adele Marie Lawton. Her grandparents moved to Oak Park in 1920 for her grandfather to manage the Warrington Theater. The Historical Society will display photographs and other items from the Warrington Theater at this special event on November 4.
About When Vaudeville Came to Joplin
Written by Cynthia Gillard, When Vaudeville Came to Joplin is the first in a series of historical fiction novels based upon a 100-year-old scrapbook that chronicles the lives of Vaudeville performers during the turn of the 20th century. Based upon the lives of Vaudeville actor Clifford Hastings and musician Adella Marie Lawton, it's a must read for history lovers as well as anyone who champions a true-life love story splendidly spun.
The story centers on young Adella of Joplin, Missouri who has a profound love of the piano. She plays fervently in church and secretly yearns to forge a career around her musical talent. When a touring Vaudeville troupe comes to Joplin, Adella’s confusion about her life path mounts. The leading man in the troupe is the dashing Clifford Hastings. Their fates intertwine when Adella signs on as a pianist for the troupe’s Joplin shows.
About Cynthia Gillard
Cynthia Gillard, born in Oak Park, is a 1976 graduate of Kalamazoo College and a 1982 graduate of Notre Dame Law School. She has had an active business law practice with the firm of Warrick & Boyn, LLP for the past 30 years. In a prior life, Gillard was extensively involved in theater playing numerous leading roles in plays and musicals. She lives with her family on Corey Lake in Michigan.
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