Ed Theatre Play in Washington Square Park, Storytelling Event Commemorate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in New York

NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Educational Theatre will stage two events this month to celebrate the women of New York State winning the right to vote a century ago, exploring the historical context through the individuals who fought for the cause.

A newly created play entitled Hear Them Roar: The Fight for Women’s Rights investigates the untold stories of the suffragists of 1917, including women of color, immigrants, and the men (or “suffragents”) who helped win the vote.

Under the direction of Nan Smithner, clinical associate professor of educational theatre at NYU Steinhardt, the play was devised by an ensemble of 15 actors, who wrote and created the scenarios by deeply researching historical facts of the time.

The show is conceived as an environmental theatre performance, with historical scenes related to the struggle for women’s rights taking place in Washington Square Park. These scenes are connected thematically in Pless Hall’s Black Box Theatre to present day issues.

The audience for Hear Them Roar: The Fight for Women’s Rights will meet at the Black Box Theatre, located at 82 Washington Square East (entrance on Washington Place), and will stroll from scene to scene throughout the performance. Audience members should dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. In case of rain the performance will move inside Pless Hall.

Hear Them Roar: The Fight for Women’s Rights runs for seven performances between Friday, October 20 and Sunday, October 29. For a list of performance dates and times, visit the NYU Events Calendar. Tickets are $15 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. For tickets, contact NYU Box Office at tickets.nyu.edu, call 212.998.4941, or visit in person at 566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Square South).

The Thursday, October 26 performance will feature a talk back after the show with Professor Burt Neuborne, who held the Inez Milholland Chair at NYU Law for the past ten years, and NYU Journalism Professor Brooke Kroeger, who wrote the recent book The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote (SUNY Press, 2017).

The Program in Educational Theatre will also present Upon a White Horse, the latest event in its Storytelling Series at the Provincetown Playhouse, produced by storyteller and NYU Steinhardt adjunct professor Regina Ress.

While many fought for women’s suffrage, one woman in particular stands out for her aptitude for drawing attention to the cause: Inez Milholland, a 1912 graduate of the NYU School of Law. Milholland may be best remembered sitting astride a white horse, channeling Joan of Arc, and leading parades down New York City’s Fifth Avenue and Washington, D.C.’s Pennsylvania Avenue to fight for women’s rights.

Inez Milholland, NYU Law alumna, seated on a white horse at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade in Washington, DC. Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Called the New York Times’ “Poster Girl of Radicalism,” this labor lawyer, war correspondent, and outspoken crusader for social justice literally worked herself to death for the cause of women’s suffrage. Storyteller Darci Tucker will bring her back to life on Sunday, October 22 at 1 pm at the Provincetown Playhouse (133 Macdougal Street).

Upon a White Horse is free and open to the public, and is appropriate for adults and youth 12 and older. For more information, visit the NYU Events Calendar.