2015 Capital Fringe Preview #20: ‘The Hello Girls’ by Robin Fox

The Hello Girls: Last Season’s Critically Acclaimed One-Woman Show about French-speaking American WWI Women Veterans Returns to the Capital Fringe

SQUARE hello girls (1)

Good news: The Hello Girls returns to the Capital Fringe stage in July! If you’re interested in World War I, military history and/or true stories of brave women who inspire, this show is for you.

Researched, developed and performed by Spoken Word Artist Ellouise Schoettler, The Hello Girls illuminates the little known stories of French speaking American WWI heroines who served General Pershing as telephone operators with the Signal Corp in war-torn France, only to return home after the war to face an uphill battle for veteran status.

Ellouise Schoettler.
Ellouise Schoettler.

This marks the 6th year that Schoettler, who lives in Maryland, has performed engaging, history-based, one-woman programs at the Capital Fringe.

The Hello Girls debuted at Capital Fringe 2014 to critical acclaim and sold out audiences:

* “Schoettler is a born storyteller and a joy to watch on stage.”DC Metro Theater Arts, 7/11/14

* “Schoettler brings a little-known chapter of World War One to life by telling it straight.” Jane Horowitz, The Washington Post, 7/13/2014

* “The Legacy of these women deserves to be heard.” Benjamin Tomchik, DC Broadway World, 7/21/14

Since last year’s Capital Fringe, The Hello Girls has continued to engage and inspire audiences at community venues and on college campuses.

All the while, Schoettler has pursued additional research, continually refining the show’s content and presentation. This goes beyond Internet searches and graveyard visits. Schoettler is determined to undo what she sees as a wrong – that the story of these brave heroines had somehow been forgotten. With the 100th anniversary of WWI on the horizon, it seems more important than ever.


“I am looking for anything that will help me make these women more real as individuals for audiences,” explains Schoettler, who turns 79 this July. “I have been lucky in that others are helping. Recently, one museum opened their archives to let me see – and touch! – an original uniform. What a difference it makes for me to look at the photos with fresh eyes, having felt one of their navy blue wool gabardine jacket and skirt uniforms, and touched the soft leather of mid-calf lace-up boots!”

BANNER - Hello Girls

The Hello Girls will be performed 5 times at:

the Brookland Artspace Lofts Studio- 3305 8th Street, NE:

Friday, July 10 – 6:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 12 – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 18 – 6:45 p.m.

Tuesday, July 21 – 6:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 26 – 12:15 p.m.



Each showing has fewer than 70 seats, so please buy your tickets early.

For more information, go to the show’s website.

The next stop for The Hello Girls? In the coming months, Ellouise will be performing their story at the National World War I Museum and Memorial (Kansas, MO), the International Storytelling Theater (Jonesborough, TN), The Starburst Storytelling Festival (Anderson, SC) and other venues.

Robin Fox is a freelance writer who lives in Northern California.


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