“O Mistress Mine” Recap

Saturday, May 6, 2017, McLean, VA
“O Mistress Mine”
An AAFSW evening of music, theater, song and storytelling
benefiting the AAFSW Family Crisis Fund



On the evening of Saturday, May 6, 2017, which was a rainy but lovely spring day, we all met at the “heart” of McLean in the charming and quaint Carderock Falls Manor. Set in a bucolic background right across from an old neighborhood church, we were all very impressed by the a touch of grandeur and old style aristocracy of the Manor.

The inside of Carderock Falls Manor was as impressive as the outside and as beautiful as its lovely gardens. As the guests arrived, they were greeted by Sheila Switzer, the AAFSW Program Chair, and Ms. Robin Phillips, the hostess. Together, they organized a spectacular fundraising event for the benefit of the AAFSW Family Crisis Fund. Later, we were all invited to taste the delicious food and some red and white wine fittingly named “The Winking Owl,” hinting, perhaps, at Pallas Athena, who shortly would appear on the stage. Athena and the Owl were inseparable, as it is described in the Greek Mythology. Ms. Robin Phillips, our charming hostess greeted all of AAFSW’s distinguished guests and after we all sampled the delectable treats and the wine, she invited us to the beautifully decorated theater.

And so began the immersion into history! The world of Shakespearean times unraveled before us; the intrigues and the cultural life of Queen Elizabeth I’s Court, a glimpse of ordinary and lowly Londoners. All these stories were introduced to us by Ms. Phillips with humor and wit, and, above all, with love and admiration for Edward De Vere, whom she, very convincingly, presented to us as the “real Shakespeare.” Due to his educational background, his noble bearing, superb looks, grace, and his mastery of “shaking” the spear, he appeared to be an absolutely perfect author of all those wonderful plays, dramas, tragedies and comedies that we love and enjoy, with all the protagonists which indelibly entered our minds, hearts and psyches and have been all along attributed to William Shakespeare.

 Then, Pallas Athena, the Greek Goddess of wisdom and arts entered the stage, Ms. Phillips, ever so lovely, feisty, in shiny costumes, courageously shaking and thrusting her spear into the abominable serpent. “The truth must prevail!” Indeed, Ms. Phillips has reached so many people, so many audiences with her very persuasive performance about the “real Shakespeare,” Edward De Vere, telling about the secret, of which maybe only some Shakespeare scholars were aware. There were some indications about the real identity of Shakespeare throughout the past centuries, but to “bring down” dear old William, is a task of epic, ground-shaking proportions, that, perhaps, only the British would be entitled to undertake. After all, Shakespeare is their national treasure!

We are all very grateful to Ms. Phillips, an exceptionally talented, well versed in history actress and performer, for explaining this controversial topic in a very effective, convincing way, lending to it her beauty, charm and enthusiasm.

Many thanks to Sheila Switzer, Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, AAFSW President, and to Barbara Reioux, AAFSW Office Manager, for organizing such a memorable event, so edifying and enjoyable. It was history “relived” in the Carderock Falls Manor! Only if we know history, we can build our future! This was truly a very enjoyable and successful evening offered by Ms. Phillips for the benefit of AAFSW!

Natalie Yambrusic
AAFSW Associate Member