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'Shattered Ceilings'

Ninety years ago, women could not vote in most of the United States.

In fact, several women were jailed and prosecuted for trying to vote in a presidential election, foremost among them Susan B. Anthony. She was found guilty, given a prison term and fine. She refused to pay the fine and demanded that she be confined. Officials told her she would be jailed only after she paid the fine. The fine never was collected and she never was imprisoned.

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment in the United States and the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Washington state.

The 19th Amendment states:

"The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

To commemorate Women's History Month, the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a play called "Shattered Ceilings; A Celebration of Remarkable Women" acted by Readers Theatre Plus.

The play was written by members of the California Desert Regional Theatre after members found there were no plays written to celebrate great American women. Members of the regional theater each selected a woman they admired and wrote a monologue using the actual words of the women taken from letters, diaries and news reports.

Music from the era will be played and photographs of the women will be shown on a screen below the stage.

The play opens with Anthony speaking with her friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton, questioning whether women's suffrage, to which they had dedicated their lives, ever would happen. Their conversation serves as a frame for the other characters in the play.

Charlotte Metzler is the announcer for the play, Marti McAllister Wolf is Susan B. Anthony, Mary Griffith is Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carol Novis is Bella Abzug, Barbara Wilson is Alice Paul, Cheryl Bell is Betty Ford and Coral Swarbrick Dries is Fanny Hurst.

The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 26, at the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse, 2781 Towne Road, Sequim, and again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Port Angeles Community Playhouse, 1235 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles

Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at Pacific Mist Books, 121 W. Washington St., and The Buzz, 130 N. Sequim Ave., in Sequim, or at Odyssey Bookshop, 114 W. Front St., in Port Angeles.

Proceeds will benefit the League of Women Voters of Clallam County.

Reach Dana Casey at dcasey@sequimgazette.com.







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