After a long delay, “The Suffragist” will run July 16 to 18, 2021 for its world premiere performance at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus.
“The Suffragist” follows Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Lucy Burns, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells and others as they struggle to justify the means for winning women’s right to vote. This battle of ideas and leadership is painted in intimate human moments and with musical spectacle, bringing to life the parades, rallies and protests these true revolutionaries used to advance their cause.
The full cast list, announced soon, will be headlined by Tony-nominated actress Nancy Opel in the role of Carrie Chapman Catt. A skilled political strategist, Chapman Catt was a suffragist and peace activist who helped secure the right to vote for American women. She directed the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and founded the League of Women Voters in 1920.
Also headlining is recently announced Broadway singer/actress Cathryn Wake in the role of Alice Paul, a vocal leader who advocated for and helped secure passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
“I am thrilled that a singer/actor of Cathryn Wake’s experience has joined the production to play the role of Alice Paul in The Suffragist. She brings just the right qualities to play this revolutionary woman who made such a difference in women’s lives through her persistence in the suffrage fight,” says executive producer, Nancy Hill Cobb.
Originally scheduled to be produced in June 2020, the premiere was originally postponed for the safety of the cast, production staff and audiences due to the pandemic. However, work has been done to ensure safety as steps are made to invite patrons back into venus. Gallagher Bluedorn’s return to live performance centers around pod seating. Available in arrangements of 2-6 seats, the pods allow small groups to enjoy performances while being physically distanced from others, in a safe and clean environment. For the safety of all, CDC and University masking guidelines still apply while in the building.
Hill Cobb is a retired music professor from University of Northern Iowa who serves as composer in addition to her executive producer role. Cavan Hallman, founding artistic director of Cedar Rapids’ Mirrorbox Theatre, wrote the book and lyrics for The Suffragist. The musical is directed by New York-based director, Rachel Klein, with Stephanie Klapper as casting director. Terry Trimpe serves as a second executive producer, with associate producer Katie Hallman.
Tickets will go on sale starting June 1, 2021. Call UNItix at (319) 273-4849 or visit gbpac.com/suffragist for more information.
“The Suffragist” is funded in part by a host of organizations, including Iowa Arts Council, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, CRST International, Hard Won-Not Done and the University of Northern Iowa.