This past two weeks has been an adventure. Groundwork done in order to have an adventure. I started with half a cast, a show, lots of advice plus an invitation to bring the play up to the Centennial for Celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage in California. I am a playwright, not a producer. But I have a lot of people believing in me and a property that could potentially affect everyone’s lives in America. Perhaps the world. It could all be wishful thinking. But I’m reading Betty Friedan’s 1976 book It Changed My Life and she describes how writing The Feminine Mystique changed not only her life, but many of the readers as well. I talk to 40 year olds today who don’t know who Betty Friedan or Gloria Steinem were, let alone Alice Paul and Anne Hutchinson. People are forgetting how hard it was to obtain these political rights and personal rights. Does it matter how hard fought they were or only that we have them? Can they be taken away? The only guarantee of equal rights the Constitution affirms to men and women is the right to vote. Everything else can be legislated out of existence. In an eye blink.
Yesterday, I finished putting together my cast for this grand tour to Sacramento. I’m very excited about the quality of the cast and their willingness to join me. I’m talking to insurance agents, lawyers, business people figuring out how to build this into a business endeavor. Now I have to go after customers — the schools. It’s one thing to show this musical to the generations of women that were there in the 40s, 50s, 60s. It triggers memories for them. But now we must go after those young women and teenagers to teach them that ordinary women struggled for them, went to jail for them, were beaten and tortured for them so that they can have cellphones and drink lattes alone in a coffee house and keep their children after a divorce. I believe these stories demonstrate that it is the strength of working together for future generations and infusing the goal with women’s sensibilities where real productive power can come from.