February 18, 2015
THE SUFFRAGE PLAYS
Introduction by dramaturg Barbara Cohen-Stratyner
New Perspectives Studio
458 West 37th Street, at 10th Avenue
Three plays by Mrs. Harlow Phibbs, Beatrice Harraden, Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St. John.
Directed by Melissa Attebery
Dramaturgy by Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Kristin Heckler
Running time, including a post-performance Q&A is 2 hours.
R.S.V.P to OnHerShouldersReservations@gmail.com
In The Mother’s Meeting (1913) by Mrs. Harlow Phibbs, Mrs. Puckle finds herself having an unexpected reaction to what she hears while attending what she believes to be a Mothers Meeting. In Lady Geraldine’s Speech (1909) by Beatrice Harraden, Geraldine visits an old school friend to help her write a favorable speech to give to the National Anti-Suffrage League, but while there, meets some charismatic, successful and intelligent women who soon enlighten and encourage her onto the right path. In How The Vote Was Won (1909) by Cicely Hamilton and Christopher St. John, after the government declares that women do not need votes, as they are all looked after by men, a general women’s strike calls for all women who previously supported themselves to leave their jobs and homes and insist on support from their nearest male relatives.
Mrs. Harlow Phibbs (nee Frances Clarke) was the wife of the Church of England Curate in Hastings and appears to have been very active in the Suffrage movement there, including leading the local Women’s Suffrage Choir. She wrote The Rack (1912) and is very probably the author of Jim’s Leg (1911), another suffrage comic monologue featuring a working class character. Beatrice Harraden was born in London in 1864 and graduated from London University with a BA in Arts, having studied Greek, Latin and English Literature. She was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the Women Writers’ Suffrage League (WWSL) and the London Graduates’ Suffrage Society. She was best known for writing novels and articles, including Ships that Pass in the Night (1894). Plays include The Outcast (1909) written with Bessie Hatton and The Traveler and the Temple of Knowledge (1911). Cicely Hamilton, probably the best known of the Suffrage writers today,was born in London in 1872 and worked as an actress before becoming a writer. Her first big success was Diana of Dobsons (1908). Hamilton was a founding member of the WWSL. Between 1914 and 1917, she worked at the Scottish Women’s Hospital in France and formed a repertory theatre company at the Somme. After the First World War, Hamilton worked as a freelance journalist and was a contributor to Time and Tide. Other works include William, an Englishman (1918), The Child in Flanders (1922), The Old Vic (1926) with Lilian Baylis and her autobiography Life Errant (1935). Christopher St. John was born Christabel Marshall in Exeter in 1871 and changed her name after converting to Catholicism. After studying at Somerville College, Oxford, she worked as a secretary to Lady Randolph Churchill and met Edith Craig, the daughter of Ellen Terry, in 1899. A member of both the WWSL and the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL), St. John founded the Pioneer Players with Craig in 1911. Her published works include Hungerheart (1915), The Plays of Roswitha (1923), Ellen Terry and Bernard Shaw: A correspondence (1931) and Ethel Smyth, a biography (1959).
MELISSA ATTEBERY (Director) began in LA in series television at Paramount, Viacom and Granada Entertainment before moving to the NY stage. She assistant-directed for Tina Howe at the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and directed the award-winning comedy Larry Gets the Call by Matt Casarino, which was then featured at DaDaFest International (Liverpool). She produced A Celebration of Women in Theatre: Miss Representation at The Players. BA, Dramatic Art and Film Studies, UC Santa Barbara; MFA, Directing, Actors Studio Drama School. Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director, Emerging Artists Theatre; Producer, On Her Shoulders; Member, The Actors Studio Playwright/Director Workshop and League of Professional Theatre Women; Associate Member, SDC. wwwmelissaattebery.com
Kristin Heckler (Assistant Director) is a Directing MFA student at The New School for Drama. Favorite directing projects includeHow I Learned to Drive, Stop Kiss, The Coming World and Godspell. Kristin isexcited thrilled to be a part of the On HerShoulders series as women's rights andproducing plays written by women are two ofher greatest passions.
BARBARA COHEN-STRATYNER, PH. D (Dramaturg) serves as Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Curator of Exhibitions at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She has developed over 80 exhibitions on dance, theater, music, popular entertainments, photography, and design for The Library’s galleries at Lincoln Center. Some have traveled across the country and to Berlin, China and Taiwan. She holds a BA from Barnard, an MFA in Theater Design and Ph. D. in Performance Studies from NYU, and an MS in the Leadership in Museum Education program at the Bank Street College of Education and has taught at CCNY and Parsons School of Design.
Zoe Anastassiou is a GABliA...Greek Aussie Brit living in America! Theatre: Off-Broadway Celebrity 24 Hour Plays (Atlantic, Theatre Row); Three Sisters & As You Like It both directed by Eve Best (Lafayette); understudy in Brainpeople written & directed by Jose Rivera (NSD); Erosion: a Fable (La Mama); TS Eliot US/UK Exchange selected Lost Cause (Old Vic). Film: Festival of Lights; Welcome Home; Randy Doe. TV: Sensory Deprivation (2015 pilot); Dr. Oz Show. Web: Gluten Free; Little Darlings. Voiceover: Dulcofibre(commerical); Channel 16, VA (narrator). Other: founding member of At Play Productions; member of Old Vic New Voices, Cry Havoc Theatre Co; host for CouchTV Network; 365 blogger. Training: Middlebury College, VT (BA's in Theatre & Psychology); New School for Drama, NY (MFA in Acting). Upcoming: Major Barbara in Fall 2015; Globe Theatre in Spring 2016. See more atwww.zoeanastassiou.weebly.com
Christine Bruno (AEA/SAG-AFTRA) has worked throughout the U.S., U.K. and Australia as an actor, director, and disability advocate. She holds an MFA in Acting and Directing from the Actors Studio Masters Program and is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. Credits include Forgotten Corners of Your Dark, Dark Place (off-Bwy), Larry Gets the Call (dir., Melissa Attebery); Krankenhaus Blues (NYC); The Glass Menagerie; The Good Daughter; The Crucible; A View from the Bridge (regional); musicals The Ugly Girl and Raspberry (London, U.K. tours); her one-woman show, Screw You, Jimmy Choo! (dir., Melissa Attebery); the independent features Static, This Is Where We Live, One Spring, Clay and TV’s Law & Order. Christine is the Co-Chair of the NY Local SAG-AFTRA Committee for Performers with Disabilities, a member of the SAG-AFTRA National PWD Committee, serves on the Broadway League Diversity and the AEA EEO Committees, and was the 2011 Co-chair of the I AM PWD global civil rights campaign. She is thrilled to be working with the ON HER SHOULDERS team again!
Kelsey Foltz is a recent alum of The New School for Drama's MFA Acting program. She has worked with New Perspectives once before and is excited to be back for this On Her Shoulders reading.
Alexandra Gellner is a graduate of The New School for Drama where she received her MFA in Acting. She is also a puppeteer, teaching artist and co-founder of New Dance Theatre, a movement-based theatre collective. NYC credits: Coffee & Biscuit (NYC Fringe); Born Liars (italytheater); Family Business (HB Studios); Hamlet as Ophelia, The Spider & The Wasp, The Trojan Women, Execution of Justice (The New School for Drama); The Lower Depths (Double Down Productions). Other credits: Same Time Next Year, Wait Until Dark as Suzy Hendrix (Ferndale Rep); Oleanna (Article 19: Birmingham, UK). Film: Turncoat, Escape in Time, The Premier, Reunion 108.www.alexandragellner.com
JoAnna Rhinehart - Theatre: Face Divided by Edward Allen Baker, Indies Lab Festival 2011(Winner: Best production), Hurt Village by Katori Hall (2009 Juilliard PF), The Bluest Eye ( Long Wharf Theatre), Crumbs From the Table of Joy (Globe Theatre/Ca), Our Town (Arden Theatre), From the Mississippi Delta (NJPAC), The Odyssey by Derek Walcott (St. Clements Theatre), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide….by Ntozake Shange, The Trial of One ShortSighted Black Woman vs Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae (New Federal Theatre, Winner of 6 Audelco Awards) Shakespeare's; The Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Nights Dream TV and Film: ELEMENTARY, UNFORGETTABLE, THE FOLLOWING, DAMAGES with Glenn Close, ROYAL PAINS, HACK Co-star with David Morse and Andre Braugher. DOUBLE NEGATIVE (2015 IFP/ Brian Dilg) THE APOSTLE AND THE SAVIOR (2014 IFP/ Jason Perez), LAW & ORDER, LAW &ORDER SVU, AS THE WORLD TURNS (CBS), CYBERCHASE ( PBS/WNET/ V.O./Pilot) FREE TO DANCE (PBS Doc/ V.O.), LONG ROAD TO NOWHERE (Indie/ 2010), THE EGOISTS (Indie/ April Films). Lifetime member of The Actors Studio/NY New York Women In Film and Television-NYWIFT (2006-Present) www.joannarhinehart.biz
Federico Trigo is a graduate of the New School for Drama and a Member of New Perspectives' Acting Company, for which he has performed in multiple productions and concert readings since 2010. He most recently he appeared in NPTC's fall productionRICHARD VETERE EXPLAINS THE WORLD...10 Minutes at a Time. Notable credits include the off-Broadway production ofReferences to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (dir. Pippin Parker); The Quarrel (dir.Robert Walden), as well as Millicent the Magnificent: An Origin Story; Silva Vicarro, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton; John, The One Hundred Most Beautiful Names of Todd; Demetrius, A Midsummer Night's Dream (dir. Austin Pendleton)
Natasha Yannacañedo - As an actress, writer, casting director and director, Natasha’s work spans independent film, radio, primetime television, and numerous plays. She is thrilled to be performing inher first On Her Shoulders production and to work with the very talented Melissa Attebery again! Natasha is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA as well as Judith Shakespeare Company, a not-for-profit theater ensemble dedicated to re-examining rolesfor women in classical theater. She is passionate about the craft of acting and public speaking and serves as Assistant Professor at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College. Please visit The N.Y. Acting Company at www.nyactingcompany.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON HER SHOULDERS was founded in 2012 to present staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing—and in some cases adapting—-them for modern audiences. The program aims to make it impossible to deny or ignore the great tradition and value of women's contribution to the theatrical canon. OHS became a program of NPTC in November 2013 with Melody Brooks and Melissa Attebery as producers. To date the program has presented 18 plays by 17 playwrights, with works from the years 1718 to 1966. The program currently offers a reading every other month.
NEW PERSPECTIVES THEATRE COMPANY (NPTC) is an award-winning, multi-racial company now in its 23rd season. The Company’s mission is to develop and produce new plays and playwrights, especially women and people of color; to present classic plays in a style that addresses contemporary issues; and to extend the benefits of theatre to young people and communities in need. Our aim is not to exclude, but to cast a wider net. www.nptnyc.org
THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DRAMA: The creative home for the future of performing arts. Agile. Engaged. Innovative. Multi-disciplinary. The New School for Drama is home to a dynamic group of young directors, writers, actors, creative technologists, and award-winning faculty. With a core belief in rigorous creativity and collaborative learning, our programs embrace civic awareness across performance disciplines to create work imbued with professionalism, imagination and social context. For more information, please visit www.newschool.edu/drama
The Play in Context, the dramaturgical and scholarly presentation component to the program, is sponsored in part by the League of Professional Theatre Women, a non-profit organization promoting visibility and increasing opportunities for women in theatre since 1982. www.theatrewomen.org