On Friday, Dec. 6, the Human Rights Institute hosted the Shout! Poetry for Suffrage event presented by the Kean University Theatre Conservatory. The event was hosted to bring awareness to the fight for women's rights and how it affects modern day society.
The Theatre Conservatory decided to put on a show that brought awareness to a topic that has been talked about for centuries. Directed by Professor Ernest Wiggins and written by Professor Susanna Rich, the show speaks to the souls of many about an issue that has been addressed since even before the beginnings of the women's suffrage movement. Students portrayed many famous and influential figures throughout history, such as Susan B. Anthony. Both students and patrons of all ages were welcomed to attend this fantastic experience and time-travel throughout history, witnessing these famous figures fight for what they believe in.
"The purpose of this project was to bring this history out into the world in a way that people could identify with these characters, and not just think that it is...just history. We wanted to make these women and righteous men something that is a living presence...to inspire us to create history for righteousness and for human rights," said Rich, the writer of "Shout! A Poetry for Suffrage."
The actors who participated loved the idea - that they would be playing famous figures throughout history to bring an experience that is thrilling and evokes emotion to life through their performances. It allowed the actors to break out of their comfort zone and actually become the influential figures who have fought for women's rights, even to this day. As an actor and poet, it is common to go the distance and put on the experience of a lifetime for a crowd who appreciate the work of art.
"It was interesting to learn more about these incredible women that we don't hear about in class, and to be able to not just read about them, but to experience their lives and portray them on stage." said Katharine Kingsley, one of the performers in the show.
The performers had nothing but positive things to say about the entire experience, and would love to thank everybody who made it possible.
"I believe I am much more educated now than when I first started this experience. This really showed me how our lives are not that different. Keep on pushing for what you want, and you will be heard," said Katie Davis, another performer.
The Kean community appreciated this performance, and is now more aware of these issues that continue to this day. Society must keep fighting for these rights, and, as suffragist and activist Inez Milholland said, go "forward into light."