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WHM Flo Asks After Ida B. Wells
March 7, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
The “Women’s HERstory Month” committee is so excited to have assembled another incredible month of inspiring stories and performances to celebrate Women’s History Month. For the 2021 WHM theme, we decided “Iron Butterflies” would be the inspiration for all shows. This was the symbol used by the Suffragists to show determination and strength. We realized it lent itself as a perfect metaphor to exemplify what we have all experienced in the year 2020. The quarantining, similar to the cocoon; then reinvention and regrowth, such as the transformation of the chrysalis to caterpillar; to vaccination and ultimate survival – the triumphant butterfly!
There will be a live Q&A following the performances with the cast and production team.
This is the fourth in a series of historical dramatizations penned by Adair Rowland, who has again invited characters from different times to compare notes from a contemporary perspective. Her past plays (Captains’ Wives and Daughters and The Seafaring Journey of Elizabeth Bray) were centered on the hidden women of local history, but African American women were barely credited within the movements they helped pioneer.
This year’s theme was inspired by the Iron Butterflies of the Women’s Suffrage movement, of which Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was a celebrity held in high regard by Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony. She not only brought a Chicago contingent of African American women to the Washington March before President Wilson’s 1913 Inauguration, but was out in front despite being told to keep to the back. Flo Kennedy (1916-2000) was integral to Second Wave Feminism in the 1970’s; her legal cases spanned Billie Holiday to Bobby Seale, Roe Vs. Wade to anti-Apartheid boycotts, and she famously mentored Gloria Steinem and Toni Morrison. Both Ida and Flo had key insights about the links between sexism and racism, and both were brilliant media strategists. How are social reformers made? These two women compare how the experience of love and loss forged a conviction in possibility, and how the experience of unity defuses oppression.
Scripted by Adair Rowland
Directed by John Budzyna
Musical Assistance by Michael Kimball
Featuring Arkida Saiwai (Lawrence, MA) and Tajoura (TJ) Davis (Manchester, NH)
Saturday March 6, 7:00pm and
Sunday March 7, 5:00pm