The Auburn Public Theater is launching series of celebrations starting Friday marking the centennial of the 19th amendment with two evenings of feminist performances. Here's a preview of what to expect from the 19 local and regional artists as they take the stage Friday and Saturday nights.
Beth Beer Cuddy and Kelly Chambala are co-hosts of the Strange Country podcast.
"Welcome to Strange Country. I'm Beth."
"We are former reporters turned librarians who enjoy researching and telling stories without having to sit in school board meetings or stand outside stand-offs," Cuddy said in an introduction.
"We are your weekly podcast written and curated by your friends. We work late nights and early mornings every week to bring you stories of historical importance. So today's story is about women in publishing who may have had to struggle with things or deal with stuff..." said Chambala.
"Because they have two X chromosomes," Cuddy chimed in.
Cuddy will be one of the performers at the extravaganza. Founding member and artistic director of the theater Angela Daddabbo says the format is loosely based on Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues.
"We thought let's go to a variety of people and give them this prompt: 'What is the significance of the women's suffrace centennial to you.' We've asked them to respond in a three to five minute format. We have several people who have choreographed dances. We have a couple people reading original poems. We have someone reading an original short story, we have several people reading existent material," said Daddabbo.
"A lot of Louisa May Alcott's stories were written under a pen name. They had way more action and grit. They were more serious, and not about women getting married and having boring children," said Chambala.
"Was it a male name, like L.M. Alcott, the J.K. Rowling route?" asked Cuddy.
"Yes, she did do that," Chambala said.
Daddabbo says she wants to go beyond the opinions of celebrities, athletes, and authors to create a meaningful dialogue on the local level with people she might see in Wegmans.
"Central New York, and Auburn itself, as we know, is the birthplace of the women's rights movement. There were several Auburnian women who were part of that first meeting in Seneca Falls to get the ball rolling. I feel, as people in Central New York, we have this added responsibility to make our voices heard from this place," said Daddabbo.
The Loving Cup podcast urges guests to think about what they’re grateful for in their lives and communities. Host Katie MacIntyre will be one of the performers at the Feminist Extravaganza.
"Hello. Today is December 7, 2018. We're live from the Seneca Falls-based Fingerlakes1.com studios. Welcome to the Loving Cup - elevate your gratitude..."
In this episode, she talks to teacher turned Auburn Mayor turned activist Melina Carnicelli.
"...the social justice roots that are part of the sacred ground of Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and Auburn as part of that from the indigenous women, all the way through the activist women, and the opening of the Equal Rights Heritage Center in downtown Auburn. That lineage and heritage of social justice is really what I'm so grateful for," Carnicelli said.
Carnicelli is also founder of First Amendment, First Vote, a non-partisan civic engagement group that works with high school girls to create a pipeline of young women willing and able to run for office. Ten percent of the ticket proceeds from the extravaganza will benefit the organization. Daddabbo with Auburn Public theater says she was very intentional about making sure this year’s women’s suffrage centennial programming features plenty of content celebrating local women and history. In March, the theater will offer multiple free screenings of the film Harriet, based on abolitionist and Auburn resident Harriet Tubman.
A Feminist Extravaganza: An Evening of Wild Feminist Readings takes place Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Auburn Public Theater’s Main Stage. Tickets are $19. More information at Auburn Public Theater.org.