of: Sophia Mastrandreas-Dadas
Sophia Mastrandreas-Dadas as Margaret Skapes, her grandmother
On October16, 1997 WOMEN IN HISTORY suffered the death of its founder, Sophia Mastrandreas Dadas. Her dedication and commitment to the group and the energy she brought to the troupe and her performances were boundless.
With the founding of WOMEN IN HISTORY, Sophia sought to bring the past to life. Her mission was to share lessons from the American women whose determination and achievements are often overlooked. Sophia's remarkable achievements are not unnoticed. Her broad vision remains alive in the continuing work of the group. Her zeal and her great compassion will not be forgotten.
Sophia was the former Historical Registrar for the City of Norwood, Ohio, a city within the city of Cincinnati. She was founder and president of the Norwood Historical Society and founder of the city's first historical museum and library.
She produced and hosted two programs for Warner Brothers television in the Cincinnati area: "Our Town," a magazine-format program showcasing news, events and individuals in the Cincinnati area; and "Norwood Then and Now," a weekly program dealing with the history and current development of the city of Norwood.
At right: As pioneer TV broadcaster Dorothy FuldheimSophia also was very active in community development and was the author of several grants for historic preservation of public and private buildings. Two of the largest were the restoration of Norwood City Hall and a block grant for storefront preservation. She was instrumental in developing programs about the city for use in area schools. She worked with PBS affiliates in Cincinnati and the National Endowment for the Arts for the production of a documentary series about the history of the area. She published several articles and booklets in collaboration with the Cincinnati Historical Society and The Ohio Historical Society. She was Secretary of the Records Commission for the city of Norwood.
She was active as a Girl Scout leader and organizer in Cincinnati, as well as a captain for various United Way and other fund raising campaigns. She was active in the Women's Movement in the 60's and 70's and in environmental issues.
Sophia returned to her native Cleveland area in the early 1980's, married, and had her second daughter. Not one to sit still for long, she became active with the Lakewood Historical Society's Junior Board and was Program and Development officer for two years. She was Director of Development for the Near West Theater, a special program for children at risk. She was appointed to the Lakewood Citizen's Planning and Development Commission, served on its Image Board and was a member of the Lakewood YWCA Board.
At left: As Mary Todd Lincoln, wearing a gown recreated from a description in a letter written to her dressmaker, Elizabeth Keckley, including the 60 velvet bows.
Sophia was especially proud of founding the non-profit WOMEN IN HISTORY, whose mission is the education and empowerment of women and girls through the portrayal of nearly 70 women's lives spanning three hundred years of American history. WOMEN IN HISTORY has been in existence since 1991 and has played to over 100,000 people across the United States. Among her characterizations were pioneer broadcaster Dorothy Fuldheim, wild west performer Annie Oakley, and a role that had special meaning to her, that of a young, independent-minded immigrant from Greece, her own grandmother.
Sophia attended Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in history. She had recently received a degree in social work from Cleveland State University.
A widow, Sophia is survived by her two daughters, Sheelah Prevey-Parker and Alexandra Dadas, and a granddaughter.
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