The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. -19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States
Welcome to our house!
The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. This project is the culmination of months of hard work by students from Radford University and Virginia Tech who have explored the women’s suffrage movement in the United States through both primary and secondary source material.
This project marks the first curricular collaboration of this kind between the two theatre departments despite their close proximity to each other. Casts were scheduled to meet on the same day and time to allow for the students to work together. Our original plan was to perform a devised theatrical work in the Alexander Black House in Blacksburg, Virginia. Unfortunately, Covid-19 upended our in-person work. As a result, we pivoted the project and created this website to showcase our work and performances.
Performance, steeped in script analysis and theatre history, gave students the opportunity to delve into the socio-political context of the texts as they explored the politics of performance. Speeches, political debates, letters, and other historical artifacts provided a documentary foundation for discussion and experimentation. While historical in nature, the project connected the gender issues of the past to the current climate, including the “Me Too” movement and voting rights (including current discussions in the news about voter registration restrictions and vote by mail processes in light of the Covid-19 pandemic).
The stories shared here are each student’s own imagining of one specific moment in the life of a historical figure connected to the movement. Students have researched, written, performed, and recorded their own dramatic works. To read more about our creative process, visit the Research section of the website.
As theatre makers, storytelling is central to what we do. Historical texts can be used to expand, enhance, and enrich the theatrical experience. A theatrical performance, in turn, can encourage community conversation and dialogue. We hope that you will use the Contact Us button to share your thoughts. We now invite you to tour our house, and experience the stories of those who reside here. Simply click on a purple-highlighted object to open a door into another time and place.
Thank you for visiting,
Amanda and Molly
Virginia, May 2020