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Biography of Jessica Michna

Originally from Pennsylvania, Jessica Michna developed a love of American history at an early age, visiting the many Revolutionary and Civil War sites in the area. Her love of both history and the theater was encouraged by an older brother. During her high school years she appeared in various productions and designed and constructed costumes. She was offered a scholarship to the Goodman School of Theater in Chicago.

Jessica’s theatrical aspirations were put on hold while she raised a family of four daughters. She earned a degree in psychology from the UW and worked several years as a research and teaching assistant.

After several years in the healthcare field Jessica decided to return to her two great loves, history and the theater.

The result was the birth of “First Impressions”. After almost two years of research, script writing, costume construction, and endless rehearsals, Mary Todd Lincoln was ready for her public. Audiences loved Mary, but wanted more. In 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt made her debut. In the fall of 2008 Abigail Adams joined the troupe. She is a lady from the 18th century to tell the story of the birth of this great nation. In the summer of 2009 Jessica introduced her first fictitious character, Sari (Ma) Semple, the Appalachian storyteller. Who will be the next? That question may be answered soon because something and someone new is in the works.

Jessica makes her home with her husband, Michael in Racine, Wisconsin. The Michna's share their home with a temperamental Welsh Pembroke Corgi by the name of Wendy and one old cat Elmo. When not performing, Mrs. Michna enjoys gardening, cooking, sewing, and writing.

“This month’s entertainment was the most captivating and moving historical presentation that I have, personally, ever experienced!!!” “If you missed it, you missed an extremely memorable experience.”

Newsletter – United Commercial Traveler of Racine/Kenosha
“We’ve seen a lot of Lincolns here but none compare with your Mrs. Lincoln.”

Resident, Villa West, Sherman, Illinois
“Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, portrayed by Mrs. Jessica Michna, kept our members of all ages spellbound with the story of her life, including reminiscences of her girlhood, her courtship and wedding, and her life with the young lawyer and then politician, Abraham Lincoln.”

Burlington Historical Society
“BRAVO, you brought tears to my eyes three times during your rendition.” “You were better than Hal Holbrook doing Mark Twain and all the Lincoln impersonators I have ever seen”. “A big fan.”

Susan, Waunakee, WI
“I would like to let you know you were a BIG hit at the meeting.” “I had several people tell me “that was about the best program we have had.”

Ron Nurmi, Des Moines Civil War Roundtable
“Take care of her.” “She is a national treasure!”

Spectator, Lincoln Boyhood Home National Shrine
“Better than going to New York.”

Resident, Ecumenical Housing, Madison, Wisconsin
“Fantastic!” “I wanted to cry and laugh with Mrs. Roosevelt.”

Resident, Hickory Glen, Springfield, Illinois
“I felt as though I was in the room with Mrs. Lincoln.” “I felt as though I was IN the theater that night.”

Member – New Berlin Historical Society
“Our residents were spellbound.” “Not a word was said during your performance.”

Ginny – Luther Manor Terrace
“The staff was very impressed, they couldn’t stop talking about you.” We had such wonderful comments from the guests.” “We want to book you again to make sure you are available for next year.”

Dan Liedtke – Heritage Hill State Park
”No one has ever held this audience like you.”

Ms. C.J. Morgan
Kirby Pines, Memphis, TN
“An ovation-caliber Mary Todd Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt,”

Reclaiming Our Heritage – Milwaukee Wisconsin
“Your Mary Todd Lincoln presentation was exceptional.” “Your program brought in one of the largest audiences that we have ever had for that type of program.” “I look forward to working with you again in the future.”

Mark Herman, Director of Education – Midway Village and Museum – Rockford, IL