Speranza Theatre Company’s new one-act play Unveiling Liberty by Charlotte Rahn-Lee and Jennie Contuzzi will run three days only, from March 3 to March 5, at the Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne Street).
Unveiling Liberty is set in 1886. Ten-year-old Isabelle is enamored of the enormous statue about to be unveiled in New York harbor. Her father and brother are going to go watch the dedication, and Isabelle doesn’t understand why she’s not allowed, just because she’s a girl. But it turns out that the very thing Isabelle loves about the statue—that a woman has been chosen to represent liberty—has drawn the attention of the Woman’s Suffrage Association. The WSA has something to say about it and a daring plan to make themselves heard. Meanwhile Jackie, a young black woman, has her own thoughts about the statue, but is she even at liberty to express them? With cameo appearances by historical figures like Lillian Devereux Blake, Emma Lazarus, and Joseph Pulitzer, this play explores the state of women’s rights at the time of the birth of an iconic landmark.
While Unveiling Liberty addresses themes of progress and protest that are important in any era, current events have made this play even more relevant. The story, about the history of gender inequality in the United States, the early suffrage and women’s rights movements and the intersection between gender and racial inequality, includes important lessons for children and adults struggling to understand and make a difference in our current political climate.
The play is directed by Mikaela Kafka, with period music by Estelle Bajou, and historical costume design by Marci Elyn Shein. The show is intended for an audience of children and adults, ages nine and up. In addition to the run at the Barrow Mansion, the production will be presented at school assemblies in Jersey City and Union, NJ. To book a performance of Unveiling Liberty at your school or community group contact, Speranza’s producing artistic director, Heather Wahl, at 201-503-6194 or info(at)SperanzaTheatreCompany.org.
Founded in 2008, Speranza Theatre Company is a women’s theatre company based in Jersey City. Speranza subscribes to an actor-director-playwright collaborative approach to storytelling based in honesty and truth, which centers on women’s issues and provides opportunities for women to share their voices. Through risk-taking projects, Speranza seeks to create innovative work, providing a genuine theatrical experience, rousing audiences, and giving a voice to artists who pine for progressive, challenging, and entertaining theatre.
Friday, March 3, 7:30 pm
Saturday March 4, 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 5, 3:00 pm
There will be talkbacks after the show on March 3 and March 5. The performance on Friday, March 3, will be a free performance, as part of JC Fridays; donations are welcome at this performance, and will benefit a local charity.
Speranza Theatre Company presents Unveiling Liberty, March 3-5 at The Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne St. (the venue is wheelchair-accessible). Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. For more information, visit speranzatheatrecompany.org.