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Women’s Equality Day celebration at the Theodore Roosevelt Site will include a themed performance of O’Connell and Company’s “Suffragist Diva”

This Sunday, in honor of Women’s Equality Day, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site and O’Connell & Company are teaming up to present a special edition of “Suffragist Diva: An American Patriot’s Journey.” This show was created by O’Connell & Company’s artistic director, Mary Kate O’Connell, to mark the anniversary of Women earning the right to vote in the United States. At the event, guests are encouraged to view the TR Site’s current exhibit “Votes for Women!” which examines the long struggle for women’s voting rights and President Theodore Roosevelt’s rather complex relationship with the movement.

Women’s Equality Day marks the day that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including in the Presidential election. “Last year I wrote this special version of DIVA by DIVA to celebrate this auspicious journey, “said Mary Kate O’Connell, “as well as to commemorate this awesome step towards women’s equality. Researching the show has given me a greater appreciation and respect for the women who have come before me. For those women who paved the way for me and future Generations.”

In fact, on August 26, 1920, none of the leaders of the women’s suffrage movement were present when the proclamation was signed, and no photographers or film cameras recorded the event. However, that afternoon Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, was received at the White House by President Woodrow Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson.

This wonderful and timely tribute show version of DIVA by DIVA is brimming with songs, readings, humor, and quotes by famous women and suffragists. The cast consists of local actors, artists, and community leaders. 

As an aside, Stanton Hudson, Jr., Executive Director of the TR Site recalls a story relating to women’s preservation efforts in the City of Buffalo, “it was a group of women from the Junior League of Buffalo who were instrumental in saving the house from the wrecker’s ball in the 1960s. The JLB also made what was then a huge financial commitment to the early restoration efforts at the historic house.” Hudson adds, “Since it’s opening in 1971, women have provided the leadership, both as volunteers and in staff capacities, which has gone a long way in making the Inaugural Site the cultural gem it is today and one of the Buffalo area’s most important heritage destinations.”

Tickets are $20 for general admission, but only $15 for TR Site members, and can be purchased here. A reception will follow the performance.

Performances of “Suffragist DIVA: An American Patriot’s Journey” are funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; administered by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York.

Written by Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli

Jessica Marinelli is a WNY native, born and raised in the Lincoln Park area of Tonawanda. She has been involved in local politics from an early age and is currently a Tonawanda Democratic Committee Member. As an avid equestrian and animal-lover, she trained and re-homed over 40 horses. For over a decade, she was an event planner with the law firm, Hodgson Russ LLP, and now owns her own marketing and event management company. She has worked with international and national organizations on large and small scale events. Jessica writes on politics and local events, as well as working with Buffalo Rising as a social reporter.

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