Wayne County Historical Society will present “A Tea Out of Time” at 7 p.m. Sept. 22-23 and 2 p.m. Sept. 24 at Museum of Wayne County History, 21 Butternut St., Lyons, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York state.
The play written by Larry Ann Evans and Linda Stevenson will be shown in the Carriage House.
What would be the conversation between a woman from the 1850s and a woman from the 1950s? What would someone from 1853 think of a woman wearing a miniskirt from 1969? How would a woman feel if she knew in 1914 that there would be another world war a few years later? These were the questions Evans and Stevenson asked each other as they wrote the play.
The cast comprises 17 women from the Finger Lakes region as they play 16 women from Wayne County and one from Rochester.
The play will highlight suffragist Susan B. Anthony, of Rochester; Antoinette Brown, of Butler, the first woman pastor in 1853; Ann Collins, of Lyons, an equine artist from 1972; Eliza Cooper, of Williamson, an abolitionist who hid slaves on their flight to freedom in 1864; Gert Garner Corell, of Huron, a real estate dealer from 1950; Kate Fox, of Arcadia, creator of modern-day spiritualism in 1853; The Mound Dweller, of Savannah, from 10,000 B.C.; Sylvia Newport, of Sodus, an African-American woman who lived in the Maxwell settlement as a free woman of color in 1914; Fern Huxley Palmer, of Ontario, an active grange member in 1974; Nancy Permelia Pease, of Rose, from the Standalone religion in 1853; Bessie Seeley, of Walworth, the first woman to graduate from Syracuse Law School in 1903; Agnes Snook, of Marion, a school nurse in 1931; Emma Biddlecomb Sweet, of Macedon, Anthony’s cousin and secretary in 1895; Mildred Taylor, an assemblywoman in 1960; Venus Rising, the statue from Wolcott in 1913; and Mary Ann Woodward, of Palmyra, who invented the rocking chair fan in 1849.
The historical woman will be portrayed by Deb Hodgeman as Corell, Margaret Lally as Snook, Michelle Logins as Newport, Mikayla Mayo as Fox, Diana Mourey as Collins, Nan Hanna Paquin as Palmer, Shayla Prosser as The Mound Dweller, Joanne Saracino as Taylor, Brenda Smith as Woodward, Kathryn Snyder as Anthony, Eleanor Stearns as Cooper, Linda Stevenson as Sweet, Alexis West as Pease, Jen Walzak as Venus Rising, Melissa Witchey as Seeley and Aniela Wolkonowski as Brown.
“Not only was the play a challenge to write since we were researching so many eras, but also a challenge to cast the 17 parts,” said Evans, who also directs. “We were incredibly fortunate to have found these 17 women who come from throughout the Finger Lakes from Lyons, Newark, Clyde, Sodus, Geneva, Clifton Springs, Seneca Falls and Phelps.”
Tickets cost $12 general admission, $10 for WCHS members, and are on sale at the museum. Seating is limited; advance purchase of tickets is recommended.
For information, call 315-946-4943 or visit waynehistory.org.