A Woman for Our Time

Drama, music and global heroines of the 19th century will grace the stage when Paul Emery’s Nevada City LIVE! presents A Woman for Our Time.

It’s the story of a synchronized thrust toward emancipation and human rights in the 19th century which finds its zenith with the first women of the 1840s to advance equality and sacrifice for the common good.

A Woman of Our Time
Ariel Elliot and Bruce Baynard as Tahirih and the Shah. Photo submitted by Peter Wilson

Playwright Teresa Henkle Langness says, “Today is an important time for women. Conversations around the world community are honoring the role of women.  Historically, this is nothing new.”  She points out that women in the 19th century laid the groundwork for current conversations about education and equality.  “We recall the Suffragettes who eventually succeeded in getting women the vote, but this was even earlier,” She says.  “Both men and women enjoy benefits today because of the work of these women.”  

Táhirih is the most famous female poet in Persian literature, the first Middle Eastern feminist, and the first woman to join the Bábí religious movement. In the 1840s she sacrificed her life to transcend the restrictions normally placed on women in traditional society.  One of her most notable quotes are her final words, “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.”

A Woman of Our Time
Renee Smith as Sojourner Truth. Photo submitted by Peter Wilson

The play follows the journey of Táhirih’s maid (Renee Sprattling) who travels the world meeting influential women of the time.

Directed by Michael Gottlieb, the original musical drama highlights parallels between Margaret Fuller (Emerald Stara), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Jill Gottlieb), Sojourner Truth (Renee Murray Smith), Lucretia Mott (Wendy Greene), Nana Asma’u (Artemis Arthur), and the Persian poet Tahirih (Ariel Elliott). (Chiana McCrea plays Tahirih as a child.) Leading men include delete John Watson, Mike Ferguson, Bruce Baynard, Skylar Mims, and Sawyer Maddux.

A Woman of Our Time
Chiana McCrea and Mike Ferguson

Music co-directors Sage Arias, Kate Canon, Nancy Lee Harper and Beverly Marks join the orchestra and band of troubadours, also featuring Kelly Fleming, Jane Sinclair and Alexandra Roedder, with Maggie McKaig as Music Advisor.

The performances of A Woman for Our Time will take place at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 10, 11 and 12, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, October 13th, at 2:00 pm.

Content and photos submitted by Peter Wilson