About the Show
Women: Back to the Future is designed by educators to adapt to every level of school curriculum, from K-12 through college and university students. Since performances are adapted to each particular audience's needs, it is excellent for adult conferences, conventions, and intergenerational events, as well as benefit concerts.
Audiences are captivated by the first person dramatic monologue, music and poetry. Beautiful costumes enhance each character, while clever costume and make-up changes create magical transitions between historical time periods with interactive audience participation.
Women: Back the Future presents diverse historical women role models including:
These women challenged the traditional expectations of their time. They possessed strong positive character traits and sought creative solutions to their problems. Women: Back to the Future brings to life excellent examples of how women from the past can provide stepping stones for today's people to overcome their barriers and develop tomorrow's possibilities.
This program has been approved for the Maryland State Art Council; Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland); Anne Arundel County Public Schools (Maryland) Fairfax County Public Schools (Virginia); and Project Impact (New Jersey); Suffolk County Boces, (NY)
How Women Won the Vote
Kate Campbell Stevenson creates "Amending America: How Women Won the Vote" as her vision to educate audiences to a vital yet neglected era of American history.
"Kate Campbell Stevenson created Amending America: How Women Won the Vote to educate audiences to a vital yet neglected era of American history.
I teamed up with the League of Women Voters for a community connections grant funded in part by a grant from the Montgomery County Government and The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County to create Amending America: How Women Won the Vote. My vision is to use music and theater to be an agent of change. Yes, women have come a long way – but a better understanding of women's history and their struggles Empowers us all for the future. The featured women are Abigail Adams, First Lady and early women's rights activist; Rose Crabtree, Council member of the 1920 All-Female Town Council of Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Alice Paul, early 20th century suffragist and co-founder of the National Women's Party.
Amending America: How Women Won the Vote fills in some of the gaps in suffrage history, and challenges today's audiences- particularly women and young girls to become more active participants in the local, state and national political process. For women's voices to be heard, more women need to run for office, serve on committees and learn how to advocate for issues they feel are important to improve our society, whether it's on local, state or national level."
Kate Campbell Stevenson proudly presents Forging Frontiers: Women Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). In this newest addition to her series of one-woman shows, Kate brings to life early 20th Century American STEM leaders as well as highlighting contemporary role models.
Music, monolog and clever on-stage costume and make-up changes, transport participants through history. Featuring Rachel Carson-- marine biologist, environmentalist; and Louise Arner Boyd,--Arctic Explorer who financed, planned and led SEVEN Arctic expeditions in the 1920’s and 1930’s!!
Contemporary role models feature NASA engineers, robotics experts, climatologists, Bio/Med careers and other STEM fields.
Forging Frontiers helps break through cultural biases, provides inspiring STEM role models, and encourages participants to further explore STEM classes and career options. “If you see it-you can be it!” Programs are adapted for audiences 8 years old through adults and tours nationally. Appropriate programming for schools, educational and diversity conferences, conventions, government, military, and community outreach events.
Kate proudly served 5 years as a National Delegate to Vision 2020 and serves as a board member and Cultural Ambassador for Maryland Women’s Heritage Center. Forging Frontiers is Kate’s Vision 2020 project to encourage shared leadership and to motivate boys AND GIRLS (men and women) nationwide to study and pursue STEM careers.
Meet The Women
Abigial Adams was born Abigail Smith on November 11, 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the daughter of a clergyman. She was raised by her grandmother. She and John Adams were married in 1764, and while John practiced law over the next ten years Abigail gave birth to two daughters and three sons.
As John became busier serving their country during the events surrounding the American Revolution, Abigail endured the long separations from John and successfully raised their children during extremely difficult times - wartime shortages, inflation, little hired help, home schooling of her children when schooling became unavailable, and incredible loneliness.
Famous for her long and endearing letters of love and advice to her husband during his absences (more than half their married life was spent away from each other), she truly had a great hand in guiding John Adams' political career. This working political relationship continued from John's appointment as a diplomatic envoy in Paris to then becoming the first United States Minister to Great Britain, through John's tenure then as the first Vice President and then the second President of the United States.
Abigail and John retired to Quincy, Massachusetts in 1801. Abigail died on October 28, 1818, and she and John are buried beside each other at United First Parish Church in Quincy.
Louise Arner Boyd
"I like the pleasant things most women enjoy, even if I do wear breeches and boots on an expedition, even sleep in them at times.... but I powder my nose before going on deck, no matter how rough the sea is." ~ Louise Arner Boyd
Louise Arner Boyd, know as the "Ice Woman," was born in 1887 to a very wealthy family in San Rafael, California, near San Francisco. In 1920, at age 33, both her parents died and she inherited her family's fortune. She then spent the next several years touring Europe, and when visiting the Arctic on a Norweigan cruise liner in 1924, her interest in polar exploration was sparked. In 1928, while she was chartering a Norweigen cruise liner, word came that the great Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was missing on a rescue mission flight while searching for another missing explorer. Louise immediately offered her services (and finances), traveling nearly 10,000 miles in the region to help find Amundsen.
While Amundsen was never found and rescued, Louise was awarded the Chevalier Cross of the Order of Saint Olav by the Norwegian government. In 1931 Louise returned to the Arctic, leading a scientific expedition to the fjord region of Greenland’s east coast. There she studied glacial formations, photographing plant and animal life on De Geer Glacier. Later this area she explored was named after her – Louise Boyd Land.
During an expedition sponsored by the American Geographic Society in 1933 Louise studied glacial formations in the same area. Expeditions in 1937 and 1938 discovered and studied the submarine ridge lying between Bear and Jan Mayen Islands. She also led another Greenland expedition in 1941, financed by the US government. She there studied effects of polar magnetism on radio communications. The U.S. Army awarded her a 'Certificate of Appreciation' for the work she performed in 1942 and 1943 as an adviser on military strategy in the Arctic
The Fiord Region of East Greenland (1935) and The Coast of Northeast Greenland (1948), two books written by Boyd, describe her Greenland expeditions. In 1955, at age 67, Louise was the first woman to fly over the North Pole when she chartered a DC-4 aircraft for a 16-hour non-stop flight over the region. This was the first privately financed, non-commercial and non-military flight over the North Pole. Louise died in 1972 at the age 85 in San Francisco, California.
Rachel Carson was born in May 27, 1907 on a farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania. Overcoming the hardships of a poor family, she was able in 1929 to graduated from the Pennsylvania College for Women in Pittsburgh, PA, now known as Chatham College. She then attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and received an M.A. in Marine Biology from there in 1932. Rachel then taught Zoology at the University of Maryland, spending her summers studying at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA.
Rather than pursuing her desired career in research, she then went to work in Washington, DC for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, now known as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. While moving through the ranks in the publications department there, she also had the opportunity to pursue her interests in writing, publishing numerous books and articles about nature and the environment. She had a wonderful knack for being able to write about science in a manner non-scientific readers could understand and enjoy.
Her success as an author, particularly with the best-seller The Sea Around Us (1951), which was on the nonfiction best-seller list for 39 weeks and won the National Book Award, eventually allowed her to retire and write full-time. In 1962 Rachel published her most famous book (some would say infamous), Silent Spring. For years she had been concerned about the negative effects of pesticides on nature (a friend's birds had once been killed by arial spraying of the pesticide DDT) but had been unable to get anything published about the topic.
Finally, merging her expertise as a writer and scientist with other researcher's findings on these topics, she completed and published Silent Spring, which became an overnight controversy and success. She had proven that DDT and other agricultural chemicals were harming both nature and humans, perhaps permanently, and in sharing her findings with everyone had raised their environmental consciousness. The chemical/pesticide industry was outraged, and even tried to have the book banned, though unsuccessfully.
Ironically, Rachel Carson became sick with cancer while writing Silent Spring, and died on April 14, 1964, shortly after the book was published. She did not live long enough to see DDT eventually banned, but as founder of the modern environmental movement, her words and her work live on in her stead.
(from the website: Reflections on Wyoming)
Rose Crabtree's election to a two-year term on the Jackson Hole, Wyoming Town Council got special attention because she out-polled her husband, Henry, in the process. Not by a whisker, either: 50 to 31. Furthermore, Henry Crabtree was the sitting mayor at the time of the election.
Henry's mother left them in charge of a hotel when she left Jackson in 1917 and her son and daughter-in-law became the owner-operators. Known for the fine table she could spread, known for the comfort and hospitality of their hostelry, known for the generosity to those down on their luck, and known for surviving and thriving in good times and bad, the Crabtrees had only scoundrels and varlets as enemies: the good townsfolk loved them. The literature of the day shows that the large round table at the Crabtree Hotel was the favorite spot for dignitaries and visitors to share their stories.
They were roll-up-the-sleeves and get-the-job-done sort of folk, the Crabtrees. Henry's trade was carpentry and woodworking. For their entire adult lives they put forth to people the work of their hands and so it was that they thrived. Small wonder, then, that the townsfolk found it easy to cast their votes for Rose, not so much as the competitor to Henry, but as his equal.
Alice Paul was raised in a well-to-do Quaker family in New Jersey. Her father was a banker and her parents believed highly in the value of education. Paul graduated with a degree in biology from Swarthmore College (1905), an institution that her grandfather helped to found, earned graduate degrees in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1907; Ph.D., 1912), and also studied at the Woodbrooke Settlement for Social Work, the University of Birmingham, and the London School of Economics. She earned a bachelor’s in law from Washington College of Law in 1922, and master’s and doctoral law degrees from American U niversity in 1927 and 1928.
While studying and doing social work in England, Paul learned firsthand the confrontational tactics and civil disobedience used by the militant wing of the British suffrage movement. She participated in demonstrations and was jailed for her suffrage activity in London.
Upon her return to the United States in 1910, Paul pressed the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) to adopt approaches like those used in Britain and advocated activism focused on passing a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote. Beginning with her appointment as chairman of NAWSA’s Congressional Committee in 1912, Paul and a small group of key supporters began a long campaign in Washington, D.C., to secure a national woman suffrage amendment. Central in her early organizing efforts was the famous Counter Inaugural Women's Suffrage Parade mounted on March 3, 1913, in which masses of suffragists from many states filled the streets around the U.S. Capitol, White House, and Treasury Building
Paul’s belief in the need to attract publicity and keep suffrage visible in the public eye, as well as her determination not to shy away from confrontation and her dogged focus on a federal amendment, led to an irreconcilable break with NAWSA in February 1914. From that time on, Paul worked for suffrage through her own organization, the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU), which she and Lucy Burns founded in April 1913 while still serving on NAWSA’s Congressional Committee. The CU became the National Woman’s Party, with which Paul was affiliated until her death.
Like her Quaker hero Susan B. Anthony, Paul single-mindedly pursued a woman suffrage amendment. In the same way that Anthony inspired her, Paul became a role model for other activists who were emboldened by her defiance of authority. In October 1917 she was sentenced to seven months in prison for her role in picketing the Wilson White House. Her subsequent hunger strike led prison officials to retaliate with psychiatric evaluation and force-feeding.
Paul was an ingenious strategist and inspiring leader who gave a public face to the NWP. After 1920 she turned her efforts to the Equal Rights Amendment, which she first proposed at a NWP hollandpillen convention in 1923. She lived to see the ERA passed by Congress in 1972. ( But it failed to be ratified winning 36 of the required 38 states for ratification)
Paul’s most important contribution after winning suffrage was building effective international networks among women. She founded the World Woman’s Party in 1938. After World War II, Paul worked to ensure that equal rights for men and women were part of the United Nations platform. She also sought to include sex discrimination as a category in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul died at the age of 92 at a nursing care facility in Moorestown, New Jersey, endowed by her family.
For more information about Alice Paul and The National Women's Party and the 19th Amendment visit www.SewallBelmont.org.
Alice Paul unfurling the ratification flag at the National women's Party Headquarters in DC in August 1920 to celebrate the final ratification of the 19th Amendment (Women won the vote!)
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born in New York City on October 11, 1884, to Anna Hall and Elliott Roosevelt, younger brother of Theodore. Her mother died in 1892, when she was eight, and her father only two years later. Eleanor then went to live with Grandmother Hall, and at age 15 attended a boarding school in England. In 1903 she became engaged to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a distant cousin), and in 1905 they were married.
Over the next eleven years she and Franklin had six children. Franklin served in the state Senate in Albany, NY from 1910 to 1913, and then became Assistant Secretary of the Navy. It was during these years that Eleanor began assisting Franklin with his political career while also developing her own. She joined the Women's Trade Union League, and began championing women's causes within the Democratic Party. When Franklin contracted poliomyelitis (polio) in 1921, Eleanor stepped up her efforts to keep her husband's political career alive. She travelled extensively thoughout the U.S. and abroad on his behalf, especially after he became governor of New York in 1928, and even more so when he became President of the United States in 1932.
Eleanor's true dedication to her husband's political aspirations likely brought him the White House, but by no means did Eleanor ever lose sight of her own individuality or goals during these years. She constantly fought for a better life for the people of all creeds, races, and nations who were less privledged than she. And as First Lady, Eleanor was unfraid to try new things, holding women-only press conferences, giving extensive lectures, visiting soldiers abroad during the World War II, and publishing a daily syndicated newspaper column, "My Day" for 26 years!
She also became a great civil rights' advocate - much more so than her more conservative husband. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in 1945, but Eleanor's work was far from done. From 1945 to 1951 she served as a United States delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, and In 1946 she was elected chairman of the UN's Human Rights Commission, where she helped draft the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She also helped found UNICEF. Eleanor again joined the UN's General Assembly in 1961, and that year President John Kennedy appointed her head of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Eleanor had dedicated her life to championing the well-being of others, living by this now famous quote of hers - "It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." She died in New York City on November 7, 1962.
In the Eleanor Roosevelt segment of Women: Back to the Future, Ms. Stevenson performs the song "Fun!", with music by Thomas Tierney and lyrics by John Forster, from the musical ELEANOR - An American Love Story, by Jonathan Bolt, Thomas Tierney and John Forster.
Lucy Stone was born on August 13, 1818, near West Brookfield, MA. Against her father's wishes and beliefs, at age 25 she entered Oberlin College, paying for most of her education herself by teaching and doing housework. Lucy graduated from Oberlin in 1847, becoming the first Massachusetts women to earn a college degree. She then began her career as an advocate for the abolition of slavery, later becoming a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society.
An eloquent speaker, Lucy also then began lecturing throughout the country on women's equality rights. She truly believed that there were compelling similarities between the oppression of African Americans and women. In 1850 she organized a national women's rights convention in Worcester, MA. Lucy's speech at that convention converted Susan B. Anthony to the cause of women's rights. For the next few years she toured the country, organizing anti-slavery and women’s rights conventions, collecting petitions, and lobbying legis lators.
In 1855 she married Henry Brown Blackwell, an idealistic poet and women's suffrage supporter from Cincinnati, OH who had arduously courted Lucy for two years... finally convincing her that marriage was not altogether a bad thing. She did, however, keep her maiden name rather than taking his - something unheard of in that day. The couple had two children, a son that died shortly after birth, and Alice Stone Blackwell, who also became well known in the women's suffrage movement.
In 1863, during the Civil War, Lucy organized the Woman’s National Loyal League to support the Union war effort and to press the issue of emancipation of all slaves. In 1969 Lucy formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in opposition to the more radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) formed by Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
An accomplished journalist, in 1870 Lucy and her husband founded The Woman's Journal of Boston which for 50 years was the United States' principal woman's suffrage newspaper, dedicated to women's equality in education, law, and politics.
Lucy Stone died on October 18, 1893 in Dorchester, MA, having lived long enough to see Congress pass the 14th and 15th Amendments, giving equal protection under law to the former slaves and enfranchising black men, respectively. She, however, did not live to see women win the right to vote - that did not happen for another 27 years. After her death (and always an individual), Lucy was the first person in New England to be cremated.
Kate Campbell Stevenson presents:
Women: Back to the Future
Silver Spring, MD
Inquiries call: 301-622-1588