The Motor Maids

When you think of motorcycle clubs, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something along the lines of Hells Angels that includes bearded old men in leather jackets. The Motor Maids, one of the first female motorcycle clubs, was anything but that.

The Motor Maids of America was founded in 1938. The club sought to prove that women could ride motorcycles without accusations of being “mannish”. These girls were both stylish and daring!


Dot Smith was a famous female stunt rider of the 40s and 50s and she was one of the three founding members of the Motor Maids. Today, the club has members in almost every state in the USA and some Canadian Provinces. 

Today’s Proud Kate: Dot Smith

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part VIII

Hedy Lamarr is often recognized as one of the most beautiful women in films. The Austrian born star was a major staple during MGM’s “Golden Age” and starred alongside male counterparts such as Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart. But did you know that Hedy was also an extremely intelligent inventor?

Hedy and composer George Antheil patented an idea for a “Secret Communication System” which involved simultaneously switching radio frequencies in order to solve the problem of enemies blocking radio transmissions.  Although the idea couldn’t be put into action until the 1960s, Hedy’s idea plays a huge part in both the military and the cell phone industry today.

Today’s Proud Kate: Hedy Lamarr 

Rehearsal Report

This week, our cast has been working on the element of style that was prevalent in the 1950’s.  This means lots of research into the main players in Hollywood in the early 50’s – like David O. Selznick and Donna Reed (a Proud Kate for writing and producing her own television show!).  It also means video research! Van Johnson and Joan Crawford are assisting us with inflections and vocal work, Carole Lombard and John Barrymore with physical posture, and Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant with pace.  We’ve taken bits of screwball comedy and high drama from newspaper offices, diners, stage doors, and Park Avenue mansions.  Our actors are succeeding a style that may have gone out of fashion but not out of favor!


Did you know that 60% of all non-combat flights in WWII were completed by female pilots known as WASPs?  The women’s airforce service pilots were the first women in history to fly America’s military aircraft.

They were also frequently the first to fly any given aircraft.  In 1944, Boeing introduced the B-29 Superfortress, the largest plane of its time.  In May of that year, a young WASP named Dora flew a demonstation tour of the B-29 “Ladybird” from Clovis Air Force Base.  Years later, she received a letter from Lt. Col. McKeown letting her know that after her flight, they never had a pilot who didn’t want to fly B-29!

Today’s Proud Kate:  Dora Dougherty Strothers.

Kickstarting Art!

There are so many important ways to support our family, friends and colleagues in this industry.  We can see their shows, go to their events, help them run lines, watch their audition monologues and bring them candy during tech week.  But equally important is the tangible support – the contributions that bring the show together.  ProudKate has been lucky in this respect: our friends and family are Kickstarting our show.  They’re buying their tickets ahead of time and enabling us to put the cost of their ticket directly into the cost of lumber, cables, 1950’s gloves, a typewriter and more.  We have 9 days left and we’re 50% of the way there.  Thank you to those who are making this possible.   If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, you can get them at a heavily discounted rate through our Kickstarter.  And while you’re there, leave a little extra something for a pair of suspenders or a gallon of paint.  9 Days!

Women You’ve Never Heard Of: Part VI

With nearly fifty patents and over one hundred inventions to her credit, Beulah Louise Henry won herself the nickname “Lady Edison.”

Among Lady Edison’s innovations were a bobbinless sewing machine, a typewriter attachment that could make multiple copies of a document at once, and a device that allowed dolls to produce articulate sounds.  That’s right: if you’ve ever heard a baby doll call someone “mama,” it’s because of Beulah Louise Henry.

Beulah worked professionally for many years, as an inventor for the Nicholas Machine Works, and also served as a consultant for companies that manufactured her inventions.  She never married.

Our parade of extraordinary women continues with Beulah Louise Henry: today’s Proud Kate.