Performed by the Templeton Players of The Farmers' Museum
In Templeton in early 1855, more than six years after the Seneca Falls Convention, the Women’s Rights Movement is starting to gain momentum. However, there is still opposition from most men, and many women.
It has become a regular subject of discussion in the home and in social circles. Women still hardly dare to voice their opinions against their husbands.
Change begins to happen more rapidly with the arrival of a young woman named Carrie Filkins. Miss Filkins assists Susan B. Anthony on her tours, often visiting towns to garner excitement.
Not everyone is pleased to see Miss Filkins, but her passion and eloquence stir conversation. Templeton is soon buzzing with the subject of Women’s Rights.
1 - THE NEWS
Characters: Charles Dunn, Jacob Riley, Henry Sullivan, Isaac Pratt – local men
Carrie Filkins – Women’s Rights and Temperance activist Location: BumpTavernTime: 1:30PM
Incensed by the published announcement of Susan B. Anthony’s impending arrival, Charles Dunn rushes to share the news with his fellow men. They discuss heatedly their fury with what they feel is nonsense. Only one man seems to oppose them, which only fuels their outrage and disdain. Soon they are joined in the tavern by Susan B. Anthony’s assistant, Carrie Filkins. Not only a believer in Women’s Rights, but also a temperance activist. Harried by her appearance and strong demeanor, most of the men leave. Her words reach the ears of some however, and change begins.
2 – THE ARGUMENT
Characters: Frances and Jacob Riley, Amelia and Charles Dunn, Margaret and Henry Sullivan – local couples
Location: The Village Green
Carrie Filkins’ arrival has caught the attention of many of the town’s residents. Women, interest piqued by Carrie’s strong support of temperance, begin discussing her beliefs in Women’s Rights. On a casual stroll with their husbands, some women begin to discuss the topic- much to the chagrin of their partners.
3 – REVEREND BUSH’S ADDRESS
Characters: Reverend Bush- the local Presbyterian pastor
All women and their daughters
Location: The Church Time: 2:30 PM
Reverend Bush has been appealed to by the husbands of the town. Worried about Carrie’s influence, they ask the Reverend to address the ladies, and remind them of their purpose. The women talk with one another about Carrie’s speech, divided in their stance. After the Reverend’s speech, they are further divided. There is still a spark remaining, and one young woman is determined to keep it from going out.
4 – THE WOMEN’S VOICE
Characters: Carrie Filkins – Women’s Rights and Temperance activist
All women and their daughters
Location: More House Time: 3 PM
Dissuaded by the Reverend’s speech, the ladies gather to speak amongst themselves about Women’s Rights. While some women stand staunchly against the movement, others become anxious for change. Carrie once more addresses them, pleading with them to see how women do not have the rights they deserve. Charlotte Dunn, inspired by Carrie’s dedication, rouses her friends. They agree to hold a rally in the town- no longer leaving their fate in the hands of their fathers, husbands and brothers.
5 - THE RALLY
Characters: All Townspeople
Location: TheVillageGreen Time: 3:30PM
Marching through the streets, the women rouse everyone to come and join them- the climax has arisen! Impassioned for changed, Carrie and Charlotte give a final speech about Women’s Rights. While it may be too early to determine the outcome, it is clear that a fire has been lit in the hearts of women.