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Meet the Characters: Agatha

Angela Sun as Dr. Agatha Smith-Gilman.

Dr. Agatha Smith-Gilman is based on Dr. Augusta Stowe-Gullen, the first woman to receive a Canadian medical degree, graduating from Victoria University (now part of U of T) in 1883. Her mother, Dr. Emily Howard Stowe was among the first women to practice medicine in Canada, though she had to go to the United States to study medicine because she was banned from attending Canadian schools.

In 1876 Emily and Augusta founded the Toronto Women’s Literary Club which became the Canadian Women’s Suffrage Association in 1883, then the Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association in 1889, and the Canadian Suffrage Association in 1906.

Augusta married Dr. John Gullen, but the couple had no children which was probably a factor in why Augusta was able to maintain her career.

Emily and Augusta Stowe met Flora MacDonald Denison in the 1890s in Toronto (possibly through the Toronto Theosophical Society which Emily and Augusta co-founded).

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Meet the Characters: Charlotte

Rachel Romanoski as Charlotte Haverford.

Charlotte Haverford is based on Constance Hamilton, the first woman to be elected to the Toronto city council in 1920. She was married to Lachlan Alexander Hamilton (a wealthy railroad executive) and was known as Mrs. L. A. Hamilton in the newspapers. During her election campaign in 1920, newspapers published the list of city council candidates along with their occupations- Mrs Hamilton’s occupation was listed as “lady”.

Mrs. Hamilton joined the Canadian suffrage association relatively late in the game at around 1912ish. In 1914 she publicly accused Flora MacDonald Denison and the CSA executives of withholding the CSAs annual elections in order to keep her and other “Rosedale socialites” out of the leadership.

Mrs Hamilton eventually became the president of the CSA, and received criticism in 1917 for publicly supporting conscription and Robert Borden’s Wartime Elections Act, which allowed women to vote-but only on the condition that they had a close male relative serving overseas. Constance had no children, and her husband was too old to serve in the war, so even though the law was passed, she was not able to vote herself.

Meet the Characters: Fauna

Rachelle Lauzon as Mrs. Fauna MacGregor Davison

Fauna MacGregor Davison is based on Flora MacDonald Denison, a dressmaker, journalist, spiritualist and suffragette who was President of the Canadian Suffrage Association in 1911. She worked as a dressmaker for the Robert Simpson company for many years before going on to found her own business. She also wrote as a journalist for Saturday Night and later for the Toronto World.

Her house at 22 Carlton Street served as the headquarters of the Canadian Suffrage Association.

In 1913 she wrote in her Toronto World column about visiting England and meeting the militant suffrage group the WSPU, whose infamous founder, Emmeline Pankhurst had previously stayed with her on visits to Canada. Her involvement with the WSPU as well as her radical personal beliefs began to cause a rift between herself and the rest of the CSA.

In 1914, the CSA made headlines in Toronto for a conflict between MacDonald Dension and Constance Hamilton, a wealthy new addition to the CSA, with Hamilton claiming Flora had abused her power and undemocratically postponed the CSA’s annual election.

Meet the Characters: Ingrid

Katie Coseni as Ingrid Johnston

Ingrid is the only main character in the show now not based on a historical figure…it’s almost as if she’s not from 1914….

Katie is an award winning film actress who studied theatre and performing at Brock University, graduating with honours. She first broke into the industry by getting cast as a lead in the film Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang (premiered at TIFF 2012) and continues to pursue her career. Her stage credits include Jehanne from Jehanne of the Witches, MacDuff from MacBeth, and selected film credits include Maddie, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, Lizzie, and Keepsakes. She won the Silver Shell award for best actress at the San Sebastian film festival for her role in Foxfire. This summer you can see her in the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Meet The Characters: Lucille

Deanna Choi as Mrs. Lucille Evans.
(In addition to her acting role, Deanna is our sound designer)

Mrs. Lucille Evans is based on real-life women’s rights supporter Laura Hughes Lunde. She’s best known for her pacifist work during world war 1. Her uncle, Sir Sam Hughes was the Minister of Militia and Defence during the war, and he offered to give her a large section of land if she would quit her pacifist activities. She refused.

Deanna Choi is an award-winning violinist, sound designer, and researcher, having completed her musical training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, the National Youth Orchestra, the National Arts Centre, Domaine Forget, and Stanford. She completed a Bachelor of Science in psychology/neuroscience at Queen’s University with a theatre minor. She is a founding member of the Badass Brahms Chamber Collective and has performed in ensembles such as Canta Arya Strings, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and as a soloist with Sinfonia Ottawa. Deanna is interested in examining the intersection between music, theatre, and psychology, and how these links can be used for storytelling as a clinical and social tool. She also has a dance background and classical vocal training, and is currently branching out musically in rock, jazz, and fusion dimensions.

Select credits: If We Were Birds (music director/composer/performer, Queen’s University Department of Drama), Scorched (sound designer, Fifth Company Lane Productions), The Importance of Being Earnest (Miss Prism, Queen’s Vagabond Theatre), Hair Lines(writer/performer, Chipped Off Collective), Down There 2014 (writer/performer, Arts & Science Undergraduate Society), The Pillowman (sound designer, Queen’s Vagabond Theatre), Avenue Q (Christmas Eve, Blue Canoe Productions), As You Like It (Amiens/composer, Queen’s Vagabond Theatre), Sweeney Todd (band, QMT), Spring Awakening (band, QMT).

Website: http://www.deannahchoi.com

Tech Week

Anti-Suffrage Arguments

From Ann Coulter to the (American) National Association Opposed to Women’s Suffrage, here are a handful of ludicrous reasons why women, bless their uteruses, should not vote: Continue reading “Anti-Suffrage Arguments”

The darker side of first-wave feminism

Eugenic feminist ideas in Canada as elsewhere crossed a broad spectrum, from birth control to sexual sterilization of the so-called “unfit,” but all these ideas were represented with reference to the “natural” disposition of women to have the best interests of the society at heart: not self-preservation but “race” preservation; not personal advancement but the advancement of the “race.” (Cecily Devereux; Salon.com)

Continue reading “The darker side of first-wave feminism”

SHOW DATES & VENUE ANNOUNCED

Votes for Women (and Other Lies) will be presented at the Fringe Creation Lab.

4th floor, 720 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Saturday, May 7th - 8 PM
Sunday, May 8th - 8 PM
Friday, May 13th - 8 PM
Saturday, May 14th - 2 PM
Saturday, May 14th - 8 PM

Follow us on social media with the hashtag: #becauseit’s1914

 

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