Tony and Emmy winner Phylicia Rashad stars in one of three short radio plays during Juneteenth celebration Black Women and The Ballot, premiering June 19 at 7:30 PM ET. The event is presented by American Slave Project and a consortium of NYC and regional Black theatres and allies.
Rashad will star as The Ancestor in Judy Tate’s Pulling the Lever, which follows three inter-generational women as they remember their most important experiences voting; Tate also directs.
Dianne Kirksey Floyd will helm Tate’s second play featured, In the Parlour. The work returns to the eve of the historic 1913 Women’s March for votes through the eyes of a young Howard University student. The third play is Saviana Stanescu’s immigrant-focused Don’t/Dream, directed by Tate again.
The evening will examine the relationship between America and Black women voting in this 100th anniversary year of Women's Suffrage, shedding light on African-American women’s contribution to suffrage over multiple decades and the undocumented and disenfranchised Black immigrant women overlooked today.
“Black Women and The Ballot marks American Slavery Project’s entrance into the virtual space of theatre performance since COVID-19 swept in changing our lives, our livelihoods, and the way theatre is consumed,” said Tate, who serves as the project’s producing artistic director.
Among those joining ASP in partnership for the evening are Crossroads Theatre Company and Manhattan Theatre Club. Also participating are NYC’s Classical Theatre of Harlem, Conch Shell Productions, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Harlem Stage, Liberation Theatre Company, The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, and Tony Howell Productions. Regional theatres taking part include Civic Ensemble of Ithaca, New York, and HartBeat Ensemble in Connecticut.