Charlotte poet Dede Wilson's "Eliza: The New Orleans Years," is about to take the stage as a one-woman show.
"Eliza" opens at 2:30 p.m. May 27 and will run Sundays through June 17 at Carolinas Actors Studio Theatre, 2424 N. Davidson St. Tickets are $15.
The performance, starring Pamela Freedy, is adapted from Wilson's 2010 book of poetry, which is based on actual events.
Eliza was Wilson's great- great-grandmother, and her life with husband Caleb has long been a subject of fascination in Wilson's family. The story was that Caleb had married Eliza after killing her first husband in a duel.
Wilson used her late mother's research and her own to write Eliza's story for family members. After she finished, she did more research for this fictional version.
"Eliza" is the tale of a young London woman who sails in 1837 with her mother and siblings to New Orleans. In route, she marries the ship's captain. But once on land, she meets Caleb.
Rich and precise, Wilson's blank-verse poems speed the story along. By the end of the book, it's 1862. New Orleans has fallen to Union troops, and Eliza's marriage is disintegrating.