As record numbers of voters line up to cast their ballots early and the airwaves are flooded with political ads, one local theater company is taking advantage of election season to make political “points.”
In the final weeks of this landmark 2020 election, Fort Lauderdale-based Thinking Cap Theatre (TCT) is offering Samantha Mueller’s award-winning drama, “Laced,” an examination of the events leading up to and following a horrific LGBT hate crime, as well as a salute to the women who fought for the right to vote a century ago.
“As a trailblazing arts organization both in our region and in our nation, TCT has long championed theatre’s activist potential and the importance of anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic ideals and practices on- and off-stage,” said Artistic Director Nicole Stodard in an email to subscribers.
Plans for the company’s 10th anniversary celebration were largely scuttled by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year and financial struggles followed, but Stodard was resolute about the importance to carry on and confront the challenges society still faces, if through virtual means.
“The upside of the series of horrific moments we have witnessed? Dialogue, reflection, accountability, and active change. The once ‘fringe’ mission and vision of TCT and like-minded organizations are now finally being valued, centered, and adopted in arts organizations in South Florida and around the country,” Stodard explained.
“Laced,” which will be streamed over two weekends, Oct. 23 – 25 and Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, introduces audiences to three characters, Minnow (Angelina Lopez de Catledge), Cat (Jordan Patriarca) and Audra (Stephon Duncan), amidst the debris of a terrifying accident. The action then alternates between the moments before and after the hate crime, as the characters bare their souls as they struggle to understand, clean up and move forward.
On Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 1, TCT will present “Meet the [Suffra]Gettes,” a “playful” tribute to the champions of the 19th Amendment, allowing women the right to vote. This unique, family-friendly theatrical performance (re)introduces audiences to 10 leading figures of the women’s suffrage movement.
With an original script that interweaves primary historical documents and contemporary insights, TCT’s team of artists use dramatic storytelling to bring to life the stories of Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Ida B. Wells Barnett, Mary Terrell, Alice Paul, and Cathy Chapman Catt.
“Their deeply resonant messages will have you playing the air guitar in their honor,” promises promotional materials.
On Tuesday, Oct. 27 and the eve of Election Day, Monday, Nov. 2, TCT will present “A Baby, a Birdcage and the Ballot Box: A Play Reading of Suffragette Comedies,” virtual performances of two vintages, suffrage propaganda plays: “A Suffragette Baby” (1912) by Alice C. Thompson and “The Parrot Cage” (1914) by Mary Shaw.
Dubbed “parlor plays,” these short comedies were privately printed and originally intended for amateur performances at home. In the late 1970s, while doing research at Radcliffe College, scholar Bettina Friedl rediscovered these long-forgotten treasures and compiled them into a special edition.
These dramatic gems humorously and pointedly tackle issues such as the work/life balance dilemma and the oppressiveness of socially-prescribed gender roles. Viewers can expect to enjoy some laughs and marvel at both how far we’ve come and how we’ve still to go in the journey for equal human rights, according to promotional materials.
For more information and tickets, go to ThinkingCapTheatre.