Wednesday, November 14, 2018
‘The Agitators’ Tells of Icons Who Shaped Our America
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Saturday, October 20, 2018
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

As the nation hurtles toward potentially tumultuous mid-term elections, Company of Fools is rolling out  an insightful story about two who tried to stir the conscience of a nation.

The Fools will present a staged reading of “The Agitators” by playwright Mat Smart at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at The Liberty Theatre. The reading is free, although a $10 donation is encouraged.

Reservations can be made at www.sunvalleycenter.org or by calling 208-726-9491.

“The Agitators” tells the story of the enduring but tempestuous friendship between women’s suffragist Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass.

The two met in Rochester, N.Y. in the 1840s—both young abolitionists full of hope.

Anthony, a Quaker best known for her role in the women’s suffrage movement, began collecting anti-slavery petitions at 17. Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland to become an abolitionist known for his fiery oratories and antislavery writings, both of which disproved the notion of the day that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity of whites.

Over time their movements collided and their 45-year- friendship was tested. They agitated the nation, they agitated each other. And together they helped shaped the Constitution and the course of American history.

The reading is part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ current BIG IDEA project “We the People: Protest and Patriotism.”

It is directed by Gordon Reinhart and features Boise actors Dakotah Brown and Kelly Lynae Robinson, who appeared as Dorcas during this summer’s Sun Valley Shakespeare Festival.

“This is a play that invites us to consider our own hot-button world by reaching back to Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass and their political and personal struggles towards freedom, toward today, toward us,” said Reinhart.

Reinhart teaches acting and directing at Boise State University where he has staged more than 20 productions, including “Romeo and Juliet,” which was recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Meritorious Achievement in Directing. He last directed “Hamlet” for Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and he has directed for Company of Fools, Boise Contemporary Theater and the Idaho Repertory Theater in Moscow.

Smart, who lives in Manhattan, is currently under commission by The Second City and the La Jolla Playhouse to write “The Elephants,” a comedy about white privilege.

 

 

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