Mat Smart's THE AGITATORS Opens At Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Alabama Shakespeare Festival presents The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Mat Smart on the Octagon Stage January 30 - February 13, 2020. Directed by Logan Vaughn, this new production explores the real-life friendship between two American champions of freedom and equality - Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.
The play follows the young abolitionists after they meet in Rochester, New York, in the 1840s, full of hopes and a common purpose - securing the right to vote. As they grow into cultural icons, a river grows between them: The Fifteenth Amendment and who will be first in line to gain the right to vote, black men or women. They agitated the nation and each other, and by doing so, helped shape the course of American history.
"We still have so much to learn from Susan and Frederick. It is both inspiring and disheartening that their words hold so much power and relevance today," said Smart, who was commissioned by Geva Theatre Center to write The Agitators after he learned of Anthony and Douglass's 46-year-friendship.
"I hope people take away a new perspective on who these two giants in American history were [and] see their humanity in a new way. I want us to be able to take them off the pedestal and lie down on the ground with them. They are flawed, pained, silly, beautiful people like the rest of us."
Actors Madeleine Lambert and Cedric Mays, who starred in the 2017 world premiere of The Agitators at Geva Theatre Center, reprise their respective roles of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass at Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
The production is a tour-de-force for Lambert and Mays. Audiences will be amazed and enlightened as they watch them transform over four decades and discover how the work of these two activists still influences our public discourse today.
The creative team includes Scenic Designer Jack Magaw, Lighting Designer Christine Binder, Sound Designer David Kelepha Samba, Costume Designer Jessica Ford, Wig Master/Supervisor Angie Wright, Composer Juliette M. Jones, Stage Manager Victoria Broyles, and Production Assistant Madison J. Rutledge.
The Agitators is recommended for ages 13 and up. Tickets start at $29. To purchase, call 334.271.5353, visit the ASF Box Office (open Monday - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.), or go online: ASF.net/agitators. Evening performances begin at 7:00 p.m.; matinees start at 2:00 p.m.
ASF's production of The Agitators is made possible thanks to the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and Jan Weil and Amos Avgar.