A superb storyteller returns to Vashon, for a good cause

Dimitre will share a collage of heartfelt stories that illustrate the importance of cross-generational sharing.

Debbie Dimitre, a Pacific Northwest storyteller known for her stirring one-woman shows about women and young girls in American history, will present her uplifting show, “Cozy Quilt Tales,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, at Vashon Presbyterian Church.

In the show, Dimitre will share a collage of heartfelt stories that illustrate the importance of cross-generational sharing and the power of story to connect us, regardless of age, gender or cultural background.

“Cozy Quilt Tales” is only one show in Dimitre’s remarkable repertoire.

She appeared on Vashon last year as Alice Paul, a suffragist and co-author of the 1923 Equal Rights Amendment, and in 2019, she presented her one-woman show about Emily Dickinson. Other performances on Vashon have showcased her shape-shifts into Eleanor Roosevelt and Grandma Moses.

According to Dimitre’s website, the performer was inspired to create her far-ranging series of shows after realizing, 30 years ago, that her children’s school books were practically devoid of information about the contributions, courage and bravery of mothers and daughters in American history.

Carving out her own niche as a working performer dependent only on her own carefully researched writing, a trunkful of costumes, and audiences eager to hear the untold stories of inspiring women, Dimitre has performed at schools, community colleges, churches, libraries, bookstores, and history museums, as well as more traditional venues including the Seattle Folklife Festival.

Appropriately enough, Dimitre’s Sept. 30 presentation is being presented as a fundraiser by one of two Vashon chapters of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.).

The organization, founded in 1869, is an international women’s nonprofit that helps girls and women achieve their educational goals through scholarships, grants, and loan programs, as well as in its own institution of higher learning, Cottey College.

To date, these international programs have helped assist well over 100,000 women with more than $344 million in funds for educational assistance.

The Vashon members of the organization — which has had a presence on the island since the early 1980s — also give out their own scholarships to island girls via the Vashon Community Scholarship Foundation.

Sheri Shull, a member of P.E.O. Chapter GW, described Dimitre’s storytelling and acting as mesmerizing, and said she and other P.E.O. members are eager to experience “Cozy Quilt Tales.”

“We think it sounds wonderful,” she said.

Tickets to the show, $20, may be purchased at the door on the day of the show. For more information about Dimitre, visit debbbiedimitre.com.

Disclosure: Editor Elizabeth Shepherd is a member of P.E.O. Chapter GW, on Vashon.