Press Release for Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gretchen van Aken Performs 'Called Girl' at UNF

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Broadway actress and Methodist minister Gretchen van Aken will perform her one-woman show, “Called Girl,” at the University of North Florida on Wednesday, May 10, at 7:00 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.

“Called Girl” is a hysterical theatrical reminiscence of van Aken’s life. Through monologue, she touches on baptisms and burials; motherhood and sisterhood; marriage, divorce and remarriage; and includes performances from her Broadway days. Van Aken has been traveling to theaters, universities, and festivals all over the nation to share her story.

Van Aken grew up in a funeral home where her grandfather was the director. She went on to become a young Broadway actress and preformed in the shows “Walking Happy” and “Oliver.” She later attended Yale University, where she earned her master’s of divinity and became an ordained Methodist minister.

She served as campus minister for the UNF and Jacksonville University for several years. Van Aken retired in 2002 but is still very involved within the Jacksonville community, serving as vice president of Compassionate Friends and is a member of the Jacksonville Human Rights Commission, the Homeless Coalition, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc., Faith in Action, the United Way and the Mayor’s Victims Assistance Advisory Council.

“Called Girl” is free and open to the public. Individuals who require reasonable accommodation must notify the Women’s Center at (904) 620-2528 at least five working days prior to the event.