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SUSAN B. Comes to TNC Next Month

Performances run October 12 to 16 2022.

SUSAN B. Comes to TNC Next Month

We are living in a time of deliberate campaigns of voter suppression through a variety of means. Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, we're living in a time when women's rights are increasingly under attack. All of which makes it seem obligatory to revisit the life struggles of historic female activists and be inspired by their brave campaigns for fundamental rights. From October 12 to 16, Theater for the New City (TNC) will rise to this challenge by presenting "Susan B." by Toby Armour, a one-act bioplay on the great suffragist Susan B. Anthony, directed by Joan Kane. At selected performances (TBA), members of the League of Women Voters of the City of New York (LWV of NYC) will offer voter registration in the theater lobby. Representatives of the League will conduct post-play discussions on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization. Speakers will include Diane Burrows, Co-President of LWV of NYC and other members TBA. Subjects of the post-play discussions will include what to expect at the polls and answers to frequently asked questions like "What happens if I make a mistake on my ballot?" and "What if my name is not in the poll book?" The four ballot proposals--an environmental bond issue and three amendments to the New York City Charter regarding racial justice--will be explained in depth. Election Day is November 8 and early voting begins October 29.

In the effort to attract new voters, admission to the play is free to anyone with a college or university ID. Paid tickets are $18 general admission and $15 seniors and students without ID. Box office is www.theaterforthenewcity.net, info 212-254-1109.

In the play, Susan B. Anthony recounts her life struggles and political maturation in the context of a press interview with Nellie Bly, the famed reporter for the Pittsburgh Dispatch and New York World who was a pioneer of investigative journalism. There are occasional appearances by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whom Susan B. regarded as her teacher, inspiration and philosopher. Stanton regarded Anthony as her General who planned, organized and turned ideas into action. A chorus of actors play convention delegates, townspeople, voices of derision, New York State legislators and others who provide context for Ms. Anthony's remembrances. Much of the dialogue is in Susan B. Anthony's own words.

The play was developed at Theater for the New City under the direction of the late George Ferencz between 2014 and 2020. Part of it was presented by TNC as a radio play to celebrate Women's History Month from March 28 to to April 11, 2021. A two-part version, titled "Aunt Susan and Her Tennessee Waltz," was presented by TNC April 28 to May 15, 2022. That production's second part dramatized the efforts of Carrie Chapman Catt, Juno Frankie Pearce and others to achieve ratification of the 19th Amendment in Nashville in 1920. "Susan B." is part one of this production. Kathleen Moore, who starred as Susan B. Anthony last Spring, will reprise her role.

Set design is by Mark Marcante. Costume designer is Billy Little. Lighting design is by Bruce A! Kraemer. Sound design is by Joy Lin. Props master is Lytza Colon. Composer is Peter Dizzoza. Production stage manager is Leila Wright.

Toby Armour's plays have been presented in NYC, LA, Boston, Denver, elsewhere in the U.S., as well as Scotland, Ireland and London. "Voices from the Black Canyon" won the Lewis National Playwriting Competition. "Fanon's People," which debuted at TNC, won four Dramalog awards when produced at the Fountain Theater in LA. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Arts Council, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the Arizona Arts Commission, and the Jerome Foundation. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her previous two plays at TNC, both directed by George Ferencz, were "155 First Avenue" (2012) and "155 Through the Roof" (2014). She is grateful to Crystal Field, the late George Ferencz, Peter Dizozza, Joan Kane and the actors for all their support and wisdom in this production and she is ever grateful to Theater for the New City for its many years of making courageous and exciting theater in New York.

Joan Kane (Director) is a playwright, dramaturg, actor and educator. She is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus (http://egoactus.com/). She has directed "Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara" by Fengar Gael at HERE, "Play Nice!" by Robin Rice at 59E59 Theaters, "I Know What Boys Want" by Penny Jackson on Theatre Row, "Six Characters in Search of an Author" in Oslo, Norway and "Kafka's Belinda" in Prague. She was awarded Best Director in the 2016 United Solo Festival and was named to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com. She graduated from the High School of Performing Arts, studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse with Sanford Meisner and earned an MFA in Directing from The New School and an MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College. She is a member of SDC, DG, NYWITF and LPTW. She thanks Crystal Field and Mark Marcante for their support and their passion for keeping theater alive during the maddening days we are living in. In the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, she has received a five star review for her solo show, "Almost 13," and four star reviews for her productions of "Safe" and "What Do You Mean." (JoanKane.us)

Peter Dizozza (Musical Settings, Piano) was composer/musical director of TNC's 2022 Street Theater tour, "Teacher! Teacher! or PS I Love You." He appeared frequently in 2020-2021 in TNC's weekly "Open 'Tho Shut" walk-by theater productions, which demonstrated the theater's ability to serve its neighborhood culturally during the lockdown.

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