Cast and crew are now available for interviews with the media leading up to the world premiere performance of The Suffragist.

Broadway veterans and local actors have been working side-by-side since rehearsals began June 25 at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center. Headliners Nancy Opel and Cathryn Wake joined Waterloo-natives Joel Waggoner and MaKayla McDonald in the starring roles of the production.

“I have experienced the full gamut of emotions being back in these spaces at UNI,” stated McDonald upon returning to the Cedar Valley. “I spent six years and two degrees here making memories and developing my craft. I think about my first opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors. It was such a powerful experience. I’ve held those lessons closely and, after four years in NYC, I’m happy to be back to share what I’ve learned and tell this story. It’s my hope that I can be an example of where kindness and hard work can take you!”

The cast also features talented Iowa-grown actors like Marjorie Gast (Chicago by way of Steamboat Rock and Cedar Falls) as Inez Milholland, Erica Faye (Cedar Rapids) as Mary Church Terrell, Karla Goettel (Cedar Rapids) as Anna Howard Shaw, and Abby Bastian (Davenport) as Christabel Pankhurst. Dani Schmaltz (Waukee), a senior at University of Northern Iowa, plays Lucy Burns, a fierce fighter in the cause for woman suffrage.

“Working with these talented artists from NYC was one one of the major reasons I auditioned for The Suffragist,” Schmaltz reflected. “It has been incredibly informative and exhilarating to go through the creative process alongside them, especially for a show we are building from scratch! It’s also been invaluable to hear about their experiences as working professionals — whether it be about Broadway shows or life in New York. I’ve found both friendship and mentorship within these connections, and I’m incredibly grateful to tell this story among such wonderful people.”

Interested press are invited to interview cast members leading up to the production. Due to the Actors’ Equity Association’s COVID-19 protocols, phone and Zoom interviews will be preferred. Opportunities for photography or video can be arranged. Complementary tickets are available for press coverage of performances.

The Suffragist will run July 16 to 18, 2021 at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus. Tickets are on sale through UNItix at (319) 273-4849 or visit 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, the Cedar Falls Tourism Bureau and the University of Northern Iowa.