Clara Bow: Becoming It

The Clara Bow Project started in 2012 and was designed to explore the relationship between playwright, actor and dramaturg.  Using our incredible team of creative artistis, we excitedly poured through history to learn everything we could about Clara Bow.  There were a number of twists and turns in our storytelling and then in 2016 we finally took a draft script to the Kennedy Center Page to Stage Festival.

Now – we will be bring Clara Bow to life for the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival.

Before Jennifer Lawrence. Before Elizabeth Taylor. Before, Marilyn Monroe there was Clara Bow. The original “It Girl”.

Journey with Clara, from the slums of Brooklyn, NY, to the golden age of Hollywood’s silent screen era, as she competes in The Motion Picture Magazine’s Fame and Fortune contest.  Experience the highs and lows of stardom as Clara’s star rises to the top.  Meet her lovers.  Tackle her scandals. Confront her loneliness.  All in the effort to answer the question… is fame and fortune worth it? 

Clara Bow Becoming It_WEB

Who is Clara Gordon Bow?

(July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) Clara Bow was born in the slums of Brooklyn, NY on July 29, 1905, the first of three daughters to survive infancy.  In 1921, at the age of 16, she competed in and won Brewster publications’ magazine’s annual nationwide acting contest, “Fame and Fortune” which launched her career. Clara Bow is most well known as the spunky shopkeeper in the film “It” which earned her the nickname “The It Girl”. Throughout her film career Bow came to personify the roaring twenties and is described as its leading sex symbol.  She appeared in 46 silent films and 11 talkies, though she never fully embraced the novelty of the talkie.  In 1933 Clara Bow retired at the age of 28, married Rex Bell and became a mother and a cattle rancher in Nevada.

Why Clara Bow?

“Clara lived the American dream.  She escaped the abject poverty of the New York slums to be the biggest star of the silent screen area.  And yet she was always searching for happiness that always seemed just beyond reach.” – Rebecca Ellis (actor)

“I am drawn to the story of the first starlet to be built and then destroyed by the media.  In so many ways, Clara Bow is the original Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. She defied Hollywood stereotypes and became the poster girl for scandal.” – Heather Whitpan (director)


Clara Bow CalendarSA 7/8 10:00 PM
SU 7/9 4:00 PM
TU 7/11 5:00 PM
FR 7/14 7:45 PM
TU 7/18 7:15 PM
SA 7/22 3:45 PM

Tickets will be available for purchase through the Capital Fringe website starting JUNE 19th:



Written by Alia Faith Williams (and devised by cast & crew)
Directed by Heather Whitpan

Design Team:
Laura Schlachtmeyer – Stage Manager
Lorraine Imwold – Costumes & Set Designer
Peter Caress – Lighting & Projections Designer

Rebecca Ellis – Clara Bow
Nick DePinto – Gary Cooper & Rex Bell
Maggie Robertson – Tui Lorriane & Daisy Devoe
Seth Alcorn – Robert Bow & B.P. Schulberg
Charlene V. Smith – Sarah Bow and Elinor Glyn
Brett Abelman – Newsboy/Reporter
Nora Spellane – Newsboy/Reporter
Andrew Quilpa – Newsboy/Reporter

Other Devisors:
Matthew Pauli, Jennifer Book Haselswerdt, Julie Roundtree