We decided to use the Play It Forward platform to produce an online excerpt of We Did It For You! focused on voting rights. We put it out to our Massachusetts and Southern California casts about doing this and we gathered 13 actors from MA and 4 from CA and 1 from OH.
We had four rehearsals to practice with the technology plus hours of discussions between the stage manger Christine Babson, the director Kerri Cooper, and the producers Shirley Riga and myself.
We called the excerpt We Did It For You! The Suffrage Story and Voting Today. I had to add some new material to include the 1965 Voting Rights Act. I also was able to mention the argument that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton had regarding internal rights versus external rights. Here's what I added to the script:
"In the 19th century, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton used to argue over how to get women the vote. Did women need the political rights first, or the belief they deserved them? In 1920, white women got their political rights. In 1965, so did women of color. And in 1970, women sent the clear message that they believed they deserved that right to vote. This was no simple reform. It really was a revolution."
We had some technical glitches, but over all it was an incredible experience. Over 500 people signed up to watch it. The audience loved it. Here's some of the feedback we got:
“Wonderful performance all! I hope to be able to see you live and in person sometime soon.”
“Wonderful! Really a remarkable challenge.”
“I was crying by the last song! You all rock!”
“You were all wonderfullllllll! Thank you.”
“Congratulations to everyone! Great job!
“I have never had greater respect for what it takes to shift to livestream platform and learn technology with all the gusto and persistence of our ability.”
“Great show! So proud of what all these women did! Thank you all for offering!”
“Voting is a privilege and it’s important that our young people cherish their rights.”
“It was inspiring to hear that 102 years ago, women continued to work for the vote, even amidst an epidemic.”
“The show was a masterpiece of creative, electronic showmanship. I know how quickly you invented, manipulated, and stretched new technology to deliver to a stay-at-home audience a socially conscious, entertaining program.”