Six amazing women of history come to life via the performance of consummate, award-winning actor and women's historian Elaine Partnow. After Elaine introduces each woman, contextualizing them in history, watch makeup and costume artists transform her into the woman as Elaine regales us with anecdotes, giving us further information. Then, be privy to her dramatic portrayal, scripted in the woman’s own words. Each location is authentic to each historical character.
We first meet Murasaki Shikibu in her teahouse, the 11th-century Japanese writer whom many scholars consider to have written the world’s first novel. Next, we discover Juana Ines de la Cruz, the 16th century Mexican poet, scholar, and nun, speaking to her Mother Superior in church. Move on to meet Sarah Winnemucca, the early 19th century Native American activist, teacher, and interpreter in a small western town, speaking to the townspeople. Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and former slave who lived until the late 19th century, is discovered speaking to an unruly crowd at a meeting hall. Twentieth-century Golda Meir, the third prime minister of Israel, is discovered in the orange grove at her old kibbutz. Lastly, Benazir Bhutto, twice prime minister of Pakistan, speaks to us from her home.
Partnow was initially inspired to do create these living history portraits as she was writing her classic reference work, The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years, now in its 6th edition and in print for almost 40 years.
Shedding light on the enormous contributions women have made, this program helps audiences discover that “women’s issues” pertain to the full spectrum of life, from civil rights to matters of the heart.