Suffragettes – 100 Years Performing for the Vote
This web site was originally conceived to mark the 10th anniversary in December 2008 of the formation of the Actresses Franchise League, an organisation of actresses and other workers in theatre – playwrights, directors, stage managers, elocution teachers, male actors – to campaign for votes for women.
It aims to document their work in creating campaigning theatre and record the histories of individuals active in and around the League, but also the wider use of performance in the women’s suffrage movement. This category could include public speaking, processions and demonstrations, which were often carefully choreographed, as well as acts of civil disobedience, designed to enact female rage and frustration at injustice both to audiences who witnessed those acts live and those who heard about them later or read of them in the press, the converted and those still to be convinced.
It also provides a space to begin to map local activism, again especially those using theatre but also personal testimonies, family histories, local and regional events and invites contributions from individuals and groups in building an online map of these accounts and activities and a space to share resources and information.
Wherever possible the website draws on original accounts by contemporary commentators or women involved in events.
See this page for details of the book Votes for Women and Other Plays, educational workshops and our forthcoming exhibition.
Link to Map
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful for financial assistance from: National Lottery Awards for All The Lipman – Miliband Trust Unity Theatre Trust.
You can read the original plays written by the suffragettes in a new book.
To buy a copy click here
Or go to www.aurorametro.com ISBN 978-1-906582-01-2 Price: £12.99
A new collection of the original suffrage plays with an extensive Chronology of Suffrage Drama has been published to celebrate the centenary, edited by Dr Susan Croft.
Votes for women by Elizabeth Robins
How the Vote was Won by Cicely Hamilton and Chris St. John
The Apple by Inez Bensusan
Jim’s Leg by L.S. Phibbs
At the Gates by Alice Chapin
In the Workhouse by Margaret Wynne Nevinson
A Change of Tenant by Helen Margaret Nightingale
Susan Croft, Editor
Dr Susan Croft founded New Playwrights Trust and was Curator of Contemporary Performance at the Theatre Museum in London. She has written extensively on women playwrights, publishing She Also Wrote Plays (Faber, 2001). She also runs the project Unfinished Histories: Recording the History of Alternative Theatre, with Jessica Higgs, a major initiative to record oral histories and preserve archives.