Partner: The National Parks of Boston
Sites: Faneuil Hall, Massachusetts Senate Chamber, King’s Chapel Parish House
Dates: Script development in 2023, slated productions for 2024 and beyond
This series looks at the intersection of the fight for woman suffrage and race and abolition in Boston. Created and developed with the National Park Service by Plays in Place, with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston as an additional partner.
A Light Under the Dome by Patrick Gabridge. Directed by Courtney O’Connor.
At the Massachusetts State House, on February 21, 1838, exiled Southerner Angelina Grimke becomes the first American woman to address a legislative body. Her powerful speech about abolition also firmly asserts the full citizenship of American women. Four other women abolitionists–Maria Weston Chapman, Lydia Maria Child, Susan Paul, and Julia Williams–are all there to support and guide her through this pressure-packed moment, and they have their own moments of intense struggle to share. To be staged in the Massachusetts State Senate Chamber, under the dome where Angelina gave her original speech. Developmental reading: Monday, August 14, 7pm, in the Senate Chamber of the Massachusetts State House – 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133
A New Era by Miranda ADEkoje. Directed by Summer L. Williams.
Seven phenomenal women convene in the drawing room of Josphine St. Pierre Ruffin – a black suffragist and leader of the Boston-based Women’s Era club- on the last day of the First National Conference of Colored Women to strategize the role black women will play in the fights for civil and gender rights. As they strive to organize nationally, their personal convictions and post-reconstruction terrors threaten their unity. Staged at the King’s Chapel Parish House parlors and chapel on Beacon Hill, which will ably stand in for both Mrs. Ruffin’s home on Charles Street and the Charles Street Meeting House. Developmental reading: July 21, 2023, King’s Chapel Parish House – 64 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108
Nothing But Victory! by Ginger Lazarus. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
In 1915, Massachusetts suffragists gather at Faneuil Hall to rally after the devastating defeat of a proposed state amendment to give women the vote. Some, like Alice Stone Blackwell, are determined to put a positive spin on the loss and go forward as they have been going. Others, like Maud Wood Park, sense changes in the air and the need for a new strategy. Who will prevail? To be staged in Faneuil Hall where the historic rally took place.
Developmental reading: Saturday, November 18, 7pm, Faneuil Hall – 1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109