For our upcoming online exhibit about Evanston women and the 19th Amendment, Maggie, Fazila, and I are constructing a video recording of a play by Evanston suffragist Catharine Waugh McCullough, highlighting the script of the play we feature in our collection. The play is a fictionalization of a true story about the organization of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. Because we are using Tiki-Toki as an entryway to the site, due to its ability to situate Evanston women’s contributions to the women’s rights movement on a timeline in a state and national context, we will feature the video on the date that the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association was established. A description of the play and the event on which it is based will be present alongside the video. A “find out more” link will direct users to our Omeka site, where we are using Timeline JS to trace the life of the play’s creator, Catharine Waugh McCullough, alongside the contributions of other Evanston women’s rights advocates (find out more about this from Maggie’s blog post). We will highlight elements of Catharine McCullough’s story as a part of our social media campaign (more on this from Fazila!).

Above: Copy of Bridget’s Sisters: A Play by Catharine Waugh McCollough, courtesy of the Evanston History Center and the Evanston Women’s History Project.

The play, entitled “Bridget’s Sisters, or, The Legal Status of Women in 1868,” encompasses themes of temperance and women’s legal rights. It tells the story of Mrs. Bradley and her servant, Bridget, who is involved in a court trial through which a local saloonkeeper, Mr. Vulture, hopes to acquire Bridget’s income as a domestic servant to pay for her husband Patrick’s drinking debt. Bridget’s female employers testify as witnesses, and, over the course of the play, increasingly see the need for women to have voting rights to address social issues. They decide to convene an Equal Suffrage Association to advocate for these rights. Alongside the video we will include text providing a historical analysis of the play.

For our little reproduction of this play, we have invited our colleagues to record the voices of each character. I am working on splicing each part together into a cohesive script, and I have illustrated some of the scenes. I plan to “animate” these illustrations by framing them and giving them some motion using video-editing software. It’s a pretty simple design due to the time constraints of the course, but it is cute, and effective for the purposes of our exhibit.

Sneak preview! Listen to the audio of Act 1 here:

Here are some rudimentary animations of the scenes in Act 1 and Act 2:


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