Posts Tagged Susan B. Anthony

Delve Deeper into The Agitators

In The Agitators, on stage through Oct 28, Frederick Douglass inspires Susan B. Anthony by saying, “Nothing changes if people are not talking about it.” We trust that after seeing this knock-out play, you will want to think and engage more deeply, so in the upcoming weeks, we’re curating many chances to talk, learn and reflect on the content of this amazing timely story.

Emily Gunyou Halaas as Susan B. Anthony. Mikell Sapp as Frederick Douglass. Photo by Petronella J. Ytsma.

We want to ask the big questions. What were the obstacles Douglass and Anthony were up against? How did they stay inspired in the face of hardship and defeat? And most importantly, how does the work they started still continue today?

Join us for one or more of these engagement events:

Sun, Sept 30 post-show – Agitators: past, present and future. Conversation with Peter Rachleff, history professor and co-executive director of the East Side Freedom Library and dramaturg for The Agitators. Conversation will center on the question, “what is the significance of this story today.” Learn More.*

Wed, Oct 3, 7pm – Behind the Curtain. Join members of the cast and the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library at the Hamline Midway Library. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the play with cast members Mikell Sapp (Frederick Douglass) and Emily Gunyou Halaas (Susan B. Anthony), and sound designer Christy Johnson. Special half price ticket offer. Learn more at

Leondra M. Hanson, J.D.

Thurs, Oct 4, 6:30 pm pre-show – Life, love and Activism: America’s First Female Lawyers. Join Park Square Theatre and the Hamline Center for Justice and Law for a pre-show talk by attorney and law professor Leondra Hanson.

Myra Bradwell was a legal reformer and journalist who helped women obtain the right to practice law. She was also a contemporary and an acquaintance of Susan B. Anthony, and while the two agreed on outcome they did not always agree on approach. Bradwell’s experiences and relationships, and those of the other women lawyers of her time, offer relevant lessons for all who seek to be “agitators.” Learn More.

Sun, Oct 7 post-show  Your chance to meet members of the cast and creative team to hear about their experience bringing the characters to life, and how it has impacted them. Director Signe V. Harriday has said, “we are not creating portraits, we’re creating people.”

Peter Rachleff at East Side Freedom Library.

Wed, Oct 10, 7pm – Who are OUR Agitators? Learn about and make connections between The Agitators and contemporary activist movements with historian/dramaturg Peter Rachleff. East Side Freedom Library. Free. More at




*Financial access is a core value of Park Square Theatre. $16 tickets to The Agitators are available for the East Side Freedom Library Community. Use promo code EFL when ordering at or call 651.291.7005. East Side Freedom Library also has a limited number of complementary tickets available. If this is the best way for you or someone you know to get access to this conversation, contact Clarence at to access this opportunity.

Inspiring A New Generation of Agitators

Local premiere is the nation’s second production of timely new script by Playwrights’ Center Core Writer Mat Smart

Emily Gunyou Halaas (Susan B. Anthony) and Mikell Sapp (Frederick Douglass). PC: Petronella J. Ytsma.


Connie Shaver,

Park Square Theatre announces the regional premiere production of THE AGITATORS by Mat Smart, a core writer of the Minneapolis-based Playwrights’ Center. The play, which examines the tempestuous friendship of women’s rights advocate Susan B. Anthony and civil rights activist Fredrick Douglass, was commissioned by Geva Theatre in Rochester, New York, where the two giants of history first became friends. Park Square’s production of this timely play, only the second in the nation, will play on the Park Square Proscenium Stage from September 21 to October 28, 2018. Weekday matinees for schools will be offered on Oct 16, 17, 23, 24, Signe V. Harriday, who last directed Park Square’s production of CARDBOARD PIANO – and incidentally just won gold in synchronized swimming at the Gay Games in Paris — will direct. The production features Emily Gunyou Halaas* as Anthony and Mikell Sapp* as Douglass.

Director Signe V. Harriday

“When I read this script, I was immediately struck by its timeliness,” said Park Square Executive Director Michael-jon Pease. “Through an historic lens, it hits directly at the intersectionality of feminism and civil rights and the relationship between modern agitators leading the Women’s March on Washington and Black Lives Matter. 2020 brings the centenary of the 19th Amendment, which makes the play feel all the more contemporary.”

The play is constructed as a series of powerful vignettes set largely in the Northeast, beginning with the first meeting between Anthony and Douglass in the 1840s. Douglass, who was born a slave, faced prejudice and violence in his fight for passage of the 15th Amendment giving black citizens the right to vote. He spoke in Winona and Saint Paul during his campaign to change the constitution. His pride and joy was his wife, Anna, and their five children.

In contrast, the never-married Anthony, meanwhile, born into a Quaker household, was a driving force in the women’s suffrage cause, advocating for all people despite race, gender or class. The two had respect and affection for each other, but their relationship was never without its moments of bickering and tension. In one pivotal scene, Douglass and Anthony engage in a head-to-head disagreement on the constitutional amendment during the 1869 American Equal Rights Association meeting. Each took money from known opponents of the other’s cause, but each buoyed the other personally and professionally.

Myra Bradwell, founder for the Chicago Legal News and women’s rights activist.

Park Square will partner with the Hamline University Center for Justice and Law on two free public programs related to the show, which will be given by Leondra M. Hanson, J.D., Associate Professor, Legal Studies Department Chair, and Director of Graduate Legal Education. The first program, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, is  Behind the Scenes: Bradwell v. Illinois about the late 19th Century legal reformer Myra Bradwell, who founded the Chicago Legal News and fought for the right for women to practice law. This program will provide CLE credits for those in the legal profession. Learn More and RSVP.

The second program will be offered at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October  4 and is called Life, Love & Activism:  America’s First female lawyers. Learn More and RSVP.

Post-show discussions with the cast will be offered on Wednesday, September 27 and Sunday, October 7.

The production team for THE AGITATORS includes Sarah Brandner (Scenic Design); Bill Cottman (Video Design); Aaron Chvatal (Costume Design); Robert Dunn (Wig Design); Abbee Warmboe (Properties Design); Michael P. Kittle (Lighting Design); Christy Johnson (Sound Design); Peter Rachleff (Dramaturg); Lyndsey Harter* (Stage Manager); Haley Walsh (Assistant Stage Manager)

Ticket prices: Previews: $20-$37. Regular Run: $25-$60. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, 20 W. Seventh Place, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at   #PSTAgitators

*Member, Actors Equity Association


Previews: September 21-27, 2018

Opening Night: September 28

Regular Run: September 28 – October 28, 2018

Tickets: Previews: $20-$37; Regular Run: $25-$60

PARK SQUARE THEATRE, 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul

Ticket office: 651-291-7005 or

Green: 7:30pm, Orange:  2:00pm

P – Preview
B – 99¢ Bargain Preview
D – Post-show Discussion
O – Opening Night
ASL – American Sign Language
AD – Audio Description
C – Open Captioning


The box office is currently closed. Please email with any questions.

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