“FORWARD INTO LIGHT” The American Women’s Suffrage Movement A Concert in Song and Story
“One good song is worth a dozen addresses or proclamations” Joel Barlow 1775
… presents a concert of 19th-20th century songs from the Women’s Suffrage Movement on: …
With enlightening narrative, and songs that women sang during the suffrage movement between 1848 and 1920, this dynamic, two-act concert tells the story of how American women won the right to vote. Why did the Suffragists sing? The power of song was used to effect change and convince women to support the cause of seeking equality. Song gave women a voice at a time they were not able to speak in public. This is the story of one of the most innovative and successful non-violent civil rights efforts in our country. Many voices raised in song carried into the 20th century when parlor songs became the rage and helped bring the suffrage movement to a vast audience. With little financial and political power, women printed banners, postcards, and buttons, marched in parades, stood in silence and sang to gain the 19th amendment to the Constitution known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment.
Many famous and not so famous women worked for seventy-two years across America to educate the female and male population that women having the vote would give them a voice in the country as citizens. 53% of the population in the 20th century were women. In this concert we bring the suffrage songs back where they belong in American music, important documents of protest and rhetorical thought, as we, in our lifetime, remember the Civil Rights Movement and “We Shall Overcome”. Here, in this concert, we hear their voices, strong, persuasive, and determined to make a difference in the America of the future.
The cast of nine singers and musicians in this concert are New York residents who have individual lives and careers, and who have gathered together to bring this concert to the public. The women are Toby Stover from High Falls, Terry Leonino from Middleburg, Peggy Lynn from Red Creek, Annie Rosen from Guilderland, and Susan Trump from Schenectady. The men are Dan Duggan from Red Creek, Bill Spence from Voorheesville, George Wilson from Wynantskill, and Greg Artzner from Middleburgh.
The production is directed by Kay “Andy” Spence who has produced three other folk-theater concerts featuring New York’s “hidden history” through song and narrative. The concert is produced by Old Songs, Inc. of Voorheesville, NY and is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant. Humanities New York encourages critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena through grants, programs, networking and advocacy.