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NOVEMBER 16 and 17, 2021!

ONWARD 2021 horizontal graphic.jpeg
Opening ensemble_ONWARD-Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Studios.jpg
Sojourner Truth played by Chris Everett_ONWARD - Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Studi

Commissioned by the Associates of the Boston Public Library, the world premiere of ONWARD – Votes for Women is a documentary play created by Lisa Rafferty, with music arranged and composed by Adam McDonald. 


The third event in the prestigious Pierce Performance Series, ONWARD celebrates the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.  The production offers the voices and perspectives of the extraordinary women who fought for 70 years for equality. Over thirty historical characters from the movement, along with women leaders from our time,  were portrayed by a cast of ten for three performances at Boston Public Library's Rabb Hall on November 16 and 17.

The cast played multiple roles throughout the 70-minute performance, including Susan B. Anthony,  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Alice Paul, Mary Church Terrell, Shirley Chisholm, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem.  The script is created verbatim from documents from the Special Collection, and other speeches, letters, articles and interviews from a variety of sources.  Suffrage music and songs were interspersed throughout, along with an original score.


Dr Mabel Ping-Hua Lee (Elaine Hom)_ONWARD-Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Studios.jpg
Regine Vital as Shirley Chisholm_ONWARD-Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Studios.jpg
The sisterhood of suffragists ONWARD - Votes for Women Photo by Nile Scott Studios.jpg
Ayanna Pressley (Karimah Williams)_ONWARD - Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Studios..j
First Lady Betty Ford (Amie Lytle)_ONWARD-Votes for Women_Photo by Nile Scott Stuios.jpg

Visit the Pierce Performance Series page for more information,

through the Associates of the Boston Public Library. 

2021 Cast

Stefanie Cloutier                Joyce Kulhawik

Chris Everett                       Kat Lawrence

Alyssa Germaine                Amie Lytle

Elaine Hom                         Regine Vital

Lily Kaufman                       Karimah Williams


Director: Lisa Rafferty

Music Director: Adam McDonald

Stage Manager: Michael Eckenreiter

Costume Design:  Zoë Sundra

Lighting Design: Joe Cabrera

Scenic Artist Consultant: Kristin Loeffler

Assistant Stage Manager: Kelsey Whipple

Research:  Jody McDonough

Graphics: Sarah Smith Design

Collaborators Adam McDonald and Lisa Rafferty

Adam McDonald and Lisa Rafferty_ONWARD - Votes for Women.jpeg



Conductor and Piano: Adam McDonald

Double Bass: Holly Alper

Percussion and Drums: Dylan Barber

Cello: Tom Holdener

Clarinet: Kenji Kikuchi

Viola: Carrol Lee

English Horn and Oboe: Mary O’Keefe

Flute, Alto Flute and Piccolo: Elena Rubin


Music Copyist: Daniel Gittler

The streaming/video of ONWARD was made possible by a financial support of the Scituate Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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