IN DEVELOPMENT

/IN DEVELOPMENT
IN DEVELOPMENT2019-01-09T15:32:27+00:00

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE MUSICAL – in development

Did you know the women’s suffrage movement lasted 72 years? That it included race wars, class wars, conflicts between moderate and radical activists, a female presidential candidate, a large-scale women’s rights march coinciding with a presidential inauguration, a 3-year-long continuous picket of the White House, and a range of other non-violent, militant actions which often resulted in violent attacks and imprisonment of the protesters? Does any of this sound familiar?

Our folk/punk/hip-hop musical spans the 72 years of this monumental battle, drawing clear parallels to what’s happening in our country today, while using the musical styles women have historically used to be subversive.

Most Americans know little about how women won the right to vote, or even why it was a right that needed to be won at all. Suffragist stories need to be told, and we place women of color at the center of the narrative, bringing the movement to life through an inclusive, intersectional lens. But please don’t call them “suffragettes.” It was a demeaning, derogatory term, and there was nothing little or cute about these women. They were the bad-asses of their times, creating change, making a difference.

In Trump’s America, the women’s suffrage movement gets more relevant every day. We’ve seen the phenomenon of Hamilton, and we believe that a contemporary, race-conscious approach to the women’s suffrage movement could have the same kind of impact, highlighting the barriers faced by women of color, while relating to contemporary issues of gender, race, and social justice.

JOIN US!

As we approach the 2020 elections and centennial of the 19th Amendment, please join us for a first look: a free public development workshop of the script, including an open forum for discussion and community engagement around the historical and current issues it presents, and a voter registration drive.

Make sure your voice is heard!

WHEN
Fall 2019, date TBA

WHERE
Seattle Public Theater

WHO
Rachel Atkins, book & lyrics
Shontina Vernon, music & lyrics
Desdemona Chiang, director
Cast and musicians TBA

By presenting the script to the public early in its development, we intend to offer an open forum for discussion & community engagement around the history of this under-appreciated civil rights movement, with a focus on women of color, and how it relates to current events and issues. We will connect with local civic organizations supporting communities & individuals at risk around voting & voter registration, such as the ACLU, League of Women Voters & OneAmerica, and strive to have representatives of these groups present to support learning & promote voter registration.

WHY THIS PROJECT?

We want to…

  • Make suffrage history relevant, inclusive and accessible for contemporary women, people of color, young people, and others who might feel alienated by traditional, white male-dominated history
  • Give voice and representation to those whose experiences and perspectives are usually silenced or left out history by placing women of color at the center of an intersectional narrative
  • Reflect modern perspectives and draw parallels to current issues around women’s and minority rights
  • Encourage and inspire civic and community engagement around voting rights

With the approach of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and in context of today’s social and political environment of race and gender discrimination, art and education around the suffrage movement are increasingly relevant, and a more inclusive, equitable approach to American history essential. The fight for women’s right to vote is one of the most under-appreciated and misunderstood civil rights movements in American history, and its story is skewed toward a handful of elite, white, Eastern women.

Let us show you another side of the story.