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VIC: The Life and Times Of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess Will Be Performed by UMO Ensemble Beginning in July

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This seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon Public Radio on July 4th, 2021 at 9:00 pm.

Victoria C. Woodhull: Spiritualist, Suffragist, Free Lover-and in her time, the most famous woman in the United States. In 1872, she ran for President. By the time of her death, she'd been nearly erased from history. On the last night of her very long life, Victoria reckons with spirits and voices from her past as she relives moments both painful and exultant.

UMO Ensemble, a physical theatre company based on Vashon Island, Washington, pivots its artists and creativity to present its first ever audio drama, VIC: The Life and Times of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess, by Maria Glanz.

This seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon Public Radio on the most appropriate and auspicious date of July 4th, 2021 at 9:00 pm, and then will be heard bi-weekly to its conclusion.

Adapted from Glanz's stage play VIC: Spirit Made Flesh and directed by her frequent collaborator Elizabeth Klob, the show includes original music by Jason Webley and Gretta Harley and a company of well-known Vashon and Seattle-based actors, including Jeannie Dougherty, Ted Dowling, David Godsey, Tami Brockway Joyce, Alyssa Keene, Victoria Knox, Janet McAlpin, Steffon Moody, Jon Schroeder, Dylan Smith, Jason Webley, Lyam White, Bob Williams and Anthony Winkler, with Glanz herself playing Older Victoria and Klob as her mother Roxy.

VIC takes the audience on a wild, séance-inspired ride through an unforgettable American story. In 1872, the United States was in turmoil. The Civil War had shattered notions of what it meant to be "American." Slavery was eradicated, but reconstruction and racism were coiling around what it meant to be "free." Robber barons were building railroads and running banks, creating the seeds of what Mark Twain coined the gilded age. Suffragists were calling for women's right to vote - and Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President of the United States.

Spiritualists, free lovers, owners of the first woman-run stock brokerage in the US, newspaper publishers, and as notorious in their time as the Kardashians are today, Victoria and her sister Tennessee were praised and condemned in equal measure.

VIC: The Life and Times of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess is their story.

The show developed from a planned stage production at ACT in 2020, meant to coincide with the 100th anniversary of a woman's right to vote in 2019 and the coming election. But when COVID intervened, the company and writer turned to adapting the work as an audio production, making it possible to work with many of the same artists in this New Medium, one that allowed them to go deeper into the characters and events and spread it over seven episodes.

Director Klob believes the play remains incredibly relevant in terms of many of the same basic human rights issues that are still being fought for. "She was indeed ahead of her time.... for example her stance on free love, an eight-hour workday, income inequality...you name it."

The adaptation allowed both the writer to reconsider the form and the production to use a larger cast than planned, who would meet in Vashon to record each episode over a single day. "The radio recording process was a sharp learning curve," Klob admits, "and it was extraordinary to build completely new skills at this point in my career."

As for Glanz, the process was one which moved quickly from excitement to nervousness and then abject terror, as she realized how much a physical spectacle needed to be translated into an entirely different medium. "At that point I entered the most intense creative exertion I have ever experienced. It culminated in a stretch of working eight to ten hours a day, writing in a way I had never done before. The greatest joy was bringing so many of the characters surrounding Victoria to life - her sister Tennessee and the rest of the raucous Claflin clan (who deserve a series of their own), her daughter Zulu, her foes the Beechers, and more....at more than one point, I was pretty sure it would be the death of me. But Victoria's story persevered. I hope VIC brings it to many who have never heard it before."

Episode One of VIC, It Is Time, can be heard on Voice of Vashon, KVSH 101.9 FM or on the free VoV mobile app or stream at voiceofvashon.org. Missed the July 4th episode? Listen on demand anytime at voiceofvashon.org.

UMO Ensemble is one of the most innovative and critically acclaimed performance companies based in the Pacific Northwest.

Our mission is to stir the human spirit and incite the imagination by providing awe, challenge and inspiration through the original and compelling art that is UMO. We are a theater of connection - to our audience, to the ensemble, to our bodies, to the imagination. We work with a broad palette, combining character, movement, music, sculpture, and story. We seek the ancient alchemy of live performance, through which thoughts and images under the surface of culture are given voice and form.

The company is committed to a permanent Ensemble of performers who create and compose their own productions. In the past 30 years, UMO has performed in theaters, festivals and schools in the NW, US, Canada and Europe. UMO has created over 30 new works of theatre and inspired the next generation of artists through The UMO School of Physical Arts.


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