What do Jane Austen, the Mona Lisa and Mary McLeod Bethune all have in common? The 14th Street Y…for this month, anyway! This Women’s History Month, we are honoring the journeys of women from our past by bringing their stories to life on stage in our theater. The artists behind these plays, Richarda Abrams, Karen Eterovich and Jenny Lyn Bader, give us some fun insight to these women and their journeys. Take a read below and join us in the 14Y Theater for our Women’s History Solo Show Series!
Who is the famous woman you are presenting?
Richarda Abrams: Mary McLeod Bethune, born 1875 in Mayesville, SC, the 15th child in a family of 17 children, but the first child born free after the Emancipation Proclamation. She went on to become a world renowned educator, civil rights activist and humanitarian who was also worked closely with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Karen Eterovich: Miss Jane Austen, World’s Best Known Spinster.
Jenny Lyn Bader: The figure in the world’s most famous painting, Mona Lisa.
What drew you to her story as an artist?
Richarda Abrams: I was intrigued by the fact that Mary McLeod Bethune had quite a life’s journey, going from being an uneducated child to founding “Bethune Cookman University” and playing such a major role on the political stage in our country as adviser to several presidents, most notably President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She served on FDR’s Black Cabinet (a secret advisory body to the president).
Karen Eterovich: Pecuniary emolument! Seriously, she’s also one of the greatest writers in the English Language and, like myself, a middle class woman from a small town.
Jenny Lyn Bader: I was fascinated by the many layers of mystery around her, the controversies about who she really was, and all of the insane things that happened during the theft of her portrait when it went missing for two years (1911–1913).
Name 3 adjectives to describe her?
Richarda Abrams: Fearless, benevolent, and trailblazing
Karen Eterovich: Intelligent, witty, and imaginative!
Jenny Lyn Bader: Complicated, wise, and bold
Did your character have the right to vote when she lived?
Richarda Abrams: Yes she did, and she helped change the African American vote from Republican (then the party of Lincoln) to Democratic because of her association with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Karen Eterovich: No, she did not ever vote, and, during her lifetime, her name never appeared as author of any of the novels she wrote.
Jenny Lyn Bader: No.
If she had a Twitter account, what would her update be?
Richarda Abrams: I inspire you to love, hope and challenge you to develop confidence in one another, I encourage you to have a desire to live harmoniously with all and challenge you to a responsibility to our young people. Finally I pray that you VOTE, our lives and our future depend on it.
Karen Eterovich: Look at all these movies I am making!
Jenny Lyn Bader: Don’t worry, I survived pandemics in 1889 + 1918 and will be fine. Can’t believe Coronavirus fears closed the Louvre Museum! At least you can still see me in #equallydivine @14StreetY…
What would she say to our audience to inspire them to come see the show?
Richarda Abrams: “I am Mary McLeod Bethune, I have traveled a long way to speak with you. I look forward to our conversation. I have much to share because our world hasn’t changed that much.”
Karen Eterovich: Experience Jane Austen live, hear her words, dance through her life with her.
Jenny Lyn Bader: If you want to know who I am, why I’m smiling, and why the portrait of me was never delivered to the man who commissioned it, I’ll reveal all at Equally Divine… come see it if you like comedy, drama, and true-crime!
Catch the Women’s History Solo Show Series now through March 15 at the 14Y Theater, where we’re celebrating girl power through the ages! And for a limited time, use code LASTCHANCE to save 20% off tickets for all three shows!