A ‘Virtual Revolution’ in JCC CenterStage’s Gloria: A Life
A Women’s Vote Centennial Event
Gloria Steinem – the face of the Women's Movement – was considered a veritable force of nature. It is fitting that even a pandemic cannot stop her words from being heard as JCC CenterStage presents the upcoming play Gloria: A Life via zoom – with all-LIVE virtual performances. Running October 10 to 25, the production is timed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote.
Steinem first raised her voice five decades ago as co-founder of Ms. Magazine and as an undercover reporter posing as a Playboy Bunny. The JCC’s insightful regional premiere production chronicles her inspiring crusade and the work of her contemporaries in the 1960s. Seven local professional actors illustrate how this determined writer, championing equality for all, became the leader of the Women’s Movement.
Performance dates and times:
Saturday, October 10 at 8pm
Sunday, October 11 at 2pm
Thursday, October 15 at 7pm
Saturday, October 17 at 8pm
Sunday, October 18 at 2pm
Thursday, October 22 at 7pm
Saturday, October 24 at 8pm
Sunday, October 25 at 2pm
Tickets cost $20 for an individual, $35 for a household, available on-line at jcccenterstage.org or 585-461-2000.
Each performance of Gloria: A Life is immediately followed by an audience-interactive “talking circle” led by various local community leaders and activists affiliated with social justice organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Victory Institute, Rochester Latino Theatre Company and the Levine Center to End Hate.
The play offers insights into Steinem’s childhood all the way through her revolutionary accomplishments to change the status and role of women worldwide. Woven throughout her journey for equality are her life-altering intersections and connections with pivotal leaders of many different social justice movements including civil rights/anti-Vietnam War activism, the battle over Roe vs. Wade, Black Lives Matter, Second Wave Feminism, gay rights, #MeToo, Times Up (fighting workplace harassment and discrimination), plus other equal rights issues such as tribal rights and minority unemployment.
Written by playwright Emily Mann of the McCarter Theatre Center, the all-female, local cast and crew are directed by Lindsay Warren Baker. Erin-Kate Howard plays the titular role, complete with iconic aviator eyeglasses.
According to Baker, “Gloria: A Life is the perfect piece to work on in the time of Covid-19 and in the current socio-political climate. It provides everyone – "we the people" – an opportunity to think about the state of equality in America. The play causes, dare I say requires, one to consider their relationship with a variety of “isms” – sexism, racism, classism, etc. – and what it means to be a feminist. Where did we start? Where have we been? Where are we now? And where are we going? Gloria once said, ‘history is not the past.’ Gloria inspires us to ask: How will we forge the future?”
Gloria producer Freyda Schneider adds, “With arguably the most controversial presidential election in our nation’s history taking place just a few days after Gloria ends, this particular performance exploring social justice and equality couldn’t be more timely.”
Gloria: A Life is sponsored by Humanities New York, an organization seeking to foster engaged inquiry and dialogue around social and cultural concerns.
Top row from left to right: Oscia Miles, Erin-Kate Howard as Gloria, Jeannie Clinton
Second row, left to right: Judy Molner, Whitney Marquise Acoff, Jennifer Galvez Caton, Sydney Howard
About the suffrage movement
The suffrage movement has firm local roots, going back to the groundbreaking Rochester Women’s Rights Convention of 1848. The Seneca Falls Convention – the first women's rights convention – took place that same year in nearby Seneca Falls, now home to the National Women's Hall of Fame. For over 50 years, Rochester resident Susan B. Anthony was the leader of the suffrage movement. Anthony’s single-minded devotion to the cause was largely responsible for the passage of the nineteenth amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920, giving women the right to vote. On election day in 2016, Rochester received a flurry of national media attention as citizens flocked to Anthony’s grave at Rochester’s Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Gloria: A Life is an integral part of the JCC CenterStage Theatre’s 44th season. A local, professional theatre and program of the Louis S. Wolk Rochester Jewish Community Center, CenterStage delivers performances intended to touch and inspire audiences, including original plays and Broadway hits. CenterStage is known for mounting plays and musicals that spark conversations, celebrate world-changing people and events, and foster unity.