suffrage

Vermont women march July 1912 through Waterbury. Courtesy Waterbury Historical Society

On Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m., at Catamount Arts, the League of Women Voters and other organizations are presenting a play, written by two Vermont women to commemorate 101 years of women's suffrage.

The play by Mary Beth McNulty and directed by Laura Roald, is interactive. There is no charge for attending. Proof of vaccination, and a valid ID are required for attending.

In “The Suffragist Reenactment Society,” three actors take on many roles to inform and entertain audiences about the long journey, from 1848 to 1920, to achieve women’s suffrage. Historical events are woven throughout the play, often in the form of audience involvement. A box of costumes and props, as well as poster "playing cards" of key participants, helps bring to life little-known episodes in this movement. Special focus is given to the suppressed voices in the fight for the vote. The Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance commissioned the writing of The Suffragist Reenactment Society in recognition of the significance of the Women's Suffrage Movement.

The play will last one hour and is suitable for all audiences. Because it uses a small cast; the “play in a box” method; easily transported simple set, props, and authentic period costume pieces; and flexible staging, The Suffragist Reenactment Society will be presented in a variety of venues across Vermont.

Playwright Mary Beth McNulty’s plays have been performed from Los Angeles to Romania. Recent works include her plays Gesso and Baggage developed with U-32 High School at the Scotland Fringe Festivals, An Associate Director of Champlain College’s Teacher Apprenticeship Program, McNulty received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia. Arizona born but Virginia bred, Mary Beth currently resides in Burlington, Vermont. She and Laura co-founded Complications Company, an incubator for new plays by Vermonters.

Director Laura Roald’s credits include directing 12 new works, mostly in Canada. She also writes, performs in, stage manages, produces, and serves as dramaturg for plays. An adjunct Northern Vermont University-Johnson’s faculty member in theater, Roald received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Ottawa and University of Alberta, respectively. A native of British Columbia, Canada; Laura currently resides in Jericho, Vermont.

Vermont Suffrage Centennial Alliance (VSCA), a project of the League of Women Voters of Vermont Education Fund, is a volunteer coalition commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in 2020 and engaging Vermonters in the ongoing quest for equal rights and citizenship.