Tomorrow’s Great Pageant is a socially charged project that re-imagines the iconic Suffrage play, A Pageant of Great Women, for a 21st Century non-binary context.
The original play, written by the dramatist and actor Ciceley Hamilton in 1909, was a popular allegorical work of political agitation, which featured the embodiment of ‘Justice’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Prejudice’. The play served, in part, to recover knowledge of great women of the past, with a cast of 45 historic women, and to promote a feminist perspective on emancipation. Over one hundred years later the struggle for gender equality continues and to revisit the structure and values of A Pageant of Great Women, will offer a new platform for collective understanding, awareness and celebration.
As part of LGBTQ+ season in February 2019, The Place Bedford will collaborate with Bedford Creative Arts and Post Workers Theatre to collectively reimagine the historic suffrage play. A series of performative workshops will run at The Place Bedford to co-author a new script that comments on gender and freedom today. Participants will work with forum theatre techniques, performers and contemporary forms of media, to collectively develop a new cast and agenda for the roles of ‘Justice’, ‘Woman’ and ‘Prejudice’.
Tomorrow’s Great Pageant – Launch and key dates
For the launch of LGBTQ+ season at The Place Bedford, Post Workers Theatre and Bedford Creative Arts, will be joined by a panel of guest writers, critics, practitioners and community activists to collectively discuss and consider a new cast of iconic great people who can begin to represent the values and ideals of a diverse 21st Century LGBTQ+ community.
A reading of the original script will be followed by discussions and collective brainstorming, working with actors, activists and designers to creatively engage with hopes, fears and ideas of alternative narratives.
Launch event 2nd February 2019, 4-7pm
Workshop 1 9th February 2019
Workshop 2 24th February 2019
Workshop 3 9th March 2019
Workshop 4 23rd March 2019
Performance 6th April 2019
Want to get involved?
Are you interested in gender and freedom? Are you part of the LGBTQ+ community? Are you inspired by certain individuals or groups who deserve recognition? Are you perhaps interested in finding out theatre can contribute to meaningful change?
We are looking for participants to join the workshop process and help co-author Tomorrow’s Great Pageant. If you would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration: Ilyanna Kerr