THE AGITATORS

By Mat Smart | Directed by KenYatta Rogers
Featuring Ro Boddie (as Frederick Douglass) 
and 
Marni Penning (as Susan B. Anthony)
At the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Lang Theatre
October 24-November 25, 2018

ABOUT

Brimming with modern urgency and relevance, The Agitators examines the friendship and occasional rivalry between two American icons—Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. It’s 1849 and two young activists, full of optimism and ideals, steel themselves for the battles to come. Over the next 45 years, they journey from allies to adversaries and back. Theirs is a story of defiance, of rebellion, of revolution. They agitated the nation. They agitated each other. They changed the course of history. (Runtime: 2 hours with one 15-minute intermission.)

 

“What Mosaic Theater has achieved here is purpose-filled playmaking at its finest. It shows not only then. It illuminates now.”DC Metro Theatre Arts

 

PRESS

“...timely and poignant.”

CurtainUp

“a rapturous mashup of musical and staging styles that blows the dust off history like there’s no yesterday.”

DC Metro Theatre Arts 

“director KenYatta Rogers assures a caring and careful connection between the two characters as they battle through the minefields of racism and social inequality, urging society to Listen to each other — Words Matter.”

DC Theatre Scene

“As Frederick Douglass, Ro Boddie brings a quiet strength and a public gravitas…”

Broadway World

 

DATES

indicates a post show discussion immediately following the performance
*

ACCESSIBILITY

ALL PERFORMANCES open captioned (projected onto the set)

For the projected captions, the best viewing area is the center orchestra. Far left and far right seats are not recommended.  

 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Open Captioned Performance

ASL Interpreted Opening Night Reception

8pm Thursday, November 1

Open Captioned Performance

ASL Interpreted Post-Show Discussion

11am Thursday, November 8

Open Captioned Performance

ASL Interpreted Post-Show Discussion

11am Thursday, November 15

Open Captioned Performance

ASL Interpreted Post-Show Discussion

 

8pm Tuesday, November 20

Open Captioned Performance

ASL Interpreted Post-Show Discussion

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As we examine the life of Susan B. Anthony, our friends at The One Woman, One Vote Festival are getting ready to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of perhaps her greatest achievement—The 19th Amendment, also known as the Anthony Amendment. Learn more about them here

ARTISTS

Click the images for more information on each artist

Mat Smart
Playwright
KenYatta Rogers
Director
Ro Boddie
Frederick Douglass
Marni Penning
Susan B. Anthony
Adanna Paul
Ensemble
Josh Adams
Ensemble
Jonathan Dahm Robertson
Set Designer
Alberto Segarra
Lighting Designer
Amy MacDonald
Costume Designer
David Lamont Wilson
Sound Designer
Robert Garner
Sound Engineer
James Morrison
Projections Designer
Alec Sparks
Assistant Projections Designer
Elena Velasco
Movement Coordinator
Emily Boisseau
Properties Designer
Shirley Serotsky
Resident Dramaturg
Laurel VanLandingham
Production Stage Manager
 

DISCUSSIONS

8PM THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

Cast Talkback with the Playwright

Mat Smart The Agitators Playwright

8PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26

Birth of an Activist

Andrea Barron Mosaic Public Programming Committee Member

Sonika Data Georgetown University Law Student

DeShola Dawkins CEO at Timothy Dawkins-El Project and manager at Coalition of Concerned Mothers

3PM SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28

Cast Talkback with the Playwright and Director

Mat Smart The Agitators Playwright

KenYatta Rogers The Agitators Director

8PM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Fight The Power

Jez Kline Mosaic Director of Marketing

Marcus Dowling Writer for VICE, Pitchfork, Complex, Bandcamp, Mixmag, the Washington City Paper, and concept development for Decades

Flex Matthews DC Music and hip-hop legend
DJ Genna Marie DJ and instructor at Words Beats & Life Academy

3PM SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3

Today’s Feminism and their Roots in Susan B. Anthony’s Struggles 

Victoria Murray Baatin Mosaic Associate Artistic Director

April Sizemore-Barber Professor of Women›s and Gender Studies, Georgetown

Betsy Griffith Women’s Right Activist and Historian; Her biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who launched the suffrage movement, IN HER OWN RIGHT (Oxford), has been heralded by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as outstanding. The book inspired Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “Not ForOurselves Alone,” on which Betsy was a narrator.
Amy Hjerstedt Development Intern for the League of Women Voters of the United States and «What Would Alice Paul Do» podcaster

3PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4

The Words of Douglass and Anthony: A Literary Perspective 

Ari Roth Mosaic Artistic Director

Jocelyn Imani Principal Consultant at Cultural Interpretation Consultants, LLC and former Park Ranger at Frederick Douglass House

Meridith Styer Professor University of Maryland

Sharon Jones Friends of Frederick Douglass Historic Site

John Muller Reporter, Author of The Lion of Anacostia

11AM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8

Student Post-Show Education Workshop 

Katy Chmura Mosaic Arts Education Apprentice

8PM FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9

Rebellion at The Grassroots 

Hedrick Smith Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, formerly of the NY Times, producer/correspondent for PBS› «Frontline»

Ari Roth Mosaic Artistic Director

3PM SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10

Voting Rights Today: The Meaning of Centuries of Struggle 

Ari Roth Mosaic Artistic Director

Angel Harris Staff Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Art Spitzer ACLU, Co-Legal Director

3PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Black Women’s Suffrage: Abolition Was Not Enough 

Victoria Murray Baatin Mosaic Associate Artistic Director

Michon Boston Michon Boston Group, Principal; author of lola’s Letter, The Memphis Crusade of Ida B. Wells

Deborah Wilder Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., National Social Action Commissioner

Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn Professor Emeritus, Morgan State University

11AM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15

Cast Talkback

Rebecca Cohen Mosaic Manager of Institutional Giving

3PM SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Inexhaustible Souls in Collision: The Struggle for the 15th Amendment Meets The Claims of Race and Gender 

Stephen Stern Mosaic Board Member

Representative Jamie Raskin Congressman, D-MD ٨th District

Barbara Arnwine President Emeritus of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights

3PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18

We Hold These Truths: Quakers in America 

Rebecca Cohen Mosaic Manager of Institutional Giving

Diane Randall Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Sharon Jones Friends of Frederick Douglass House

Steve Chase Friends Meeting of Washington, Manager of Academic Initiatives International Center on Nonviolent Conflict

8PM TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right: Necessary Coalitions/Imperfect Partners

Rebecca Cohen Mosaic Manager of Institutional Giving

Remmington Belford Vice President, Strategic Partnerships

John Feffer Director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies

Zakiya Thomas Executive Director, National Women›s Part

3PM SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24

What Makes a Movement?

Ari Roth Mosaic Artistic Director

Kathleen Krepps DC Chapter Spokesperson, Moms Demand Action

Sean Blackmon Community Organizer, Stop Police Terror in DC

Bob Schlehuber Peacebuilder, Peacebuilding Connections

3PM SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25

The Rooms Where it Happens: Politics of Place and the Geography of Freedom

Shirley Serotsky Mosaic Resident Dramaturg

John Muller Author of The Lion of Anacostia

Timothy Thompson Mosaic Associate Dramaturg

Kamal McClarin Head Curator, Frederick Douglass House

 

SETTING the SCENE

In The Agitators, playwright Mat Smart’s dramatic depiction of two great American change-makers, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony meet in Western New York, in the fall of 1849, amongst the peach and apple trees of the Anthony family farm. It is somewhat unclear when the two actually had their first encounter; speeches and biographical accounts place the pivotal moment at slightly different points early in their collective history. What we do know is this: the meeting, and the relationship that followed, changed both of them. Indeed, it changed the nation.

 

That scene, like each of the eleven historical snapshots in the play, is rooted solidly in fact, but freed by theatrical imagination. The story (and the production’s rich interpretation of the story) adds feeling, flesh, and friction to these two dynamic individuals. The actual history flows in tandem to the dramatic work, and so we provide major dates and milestones below, hoping to uplift—never tether down—the experience of the production.

KEY DATES

Use the arrows to scroll through the timeline

 

GALLERY