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‘The Agitators’ Now on Stage at Playhouse on Park

West Hartford’s Playhouse on Park will be featuring ‘The Agitators’ through June 12.


The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass by Mat Smart will run at Playhouse on Park from May 25 through June 12, 2022.

This production is part of Playhouse on Park’s 13th Main Stage Season, and it will be directed by Kelly O’Donnell. The Seattle Times notes, “The Agitators unfolds like a scrapbook, with snippets of conversation between Douglass and Anthony during their decades-long struggles for abolition and voting rights.”

The Agitators tells of the enduring but tempestuous friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Great allies? Yes. And at times, great adversaries. Young abolitionists when they met in Rochester in the 1840s, they were full of hopes, dreams, and a common purpose. As they grew to become the cultural icons we know today, their movements collided and their friendship was severely tested. This is the story of that 45-year friendship – from its beginning in Rochester, through a civil war, and to the highest halls of government. They agitated the nation, they agitated each other, and, in doing so, they helped shape the Constitution and the course of American history.

Director Kelly O’Donnell. Courtesy photo

Kelly O’Donnell (Director) is a theatre and film director based in New York City who believes that theatre can be a powerful tool for fostering peace. She is an active participant in the collaborative process and a facilitator of genre-busting theatrical forms. She’s passionate about women’s stories, re-imagined classics, mischievous satires, and stories that examine the nuances of gender dynamics and class struggles. A co-founder of the critically acclaimed and nationally recognized Flux Theatre Ensemble, she has directed throughout New York City in downtown venues such as The New Ohio, The Sheen Center, The 4th Street Theatre, ART NY Gural, The Dramatist Guild, The Clemente, Judson Memorial Church, The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, The Tank, The Flea, Access Theatre, The Secret Theatre, LaGuardia College, and Columbia University. She has assisted Tina Landau, Anne Bogart, and John Rando. She received her MFA in Directing from Columbia University.

Gabriel Lawrence. Courtesy photo

The cast includes Gabriel Lawrence (Frederick Douglass) Theatre for a New Audience FAIRVIEW; The Acting Company title roles in both MACBETH and JULIUS CAESAR; Arc Stages THE MOUNTAINTOP and Sam Rosentrater (Susan B. Anthony) Theatre Horizon GRAND CONCOURSE (Barrymore Nomination); Shadowland Stages ELEMENO PEA; and Portland Stage Co. ALMOST, MAINE.  TV: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK.

Sam Rosentrater. Courtesy photo

About Playhouse on Park: Managed under the direction of Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc., Playhouse on Park is Greater Hartford’s award-winning destination for the performing arts. Playhouse on Park offers a wide range of thought-provoking, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable productions that leave audiences often smiling, sometimes crying, and always talking about what they have just experienced.

Tickets are now on sale for THE AGITATORS, and range from $40-$50. Group rates available! Student and Senior discounts are also available. Student Rush is $10 (cash only), available 15 minutes prior to curtain. Previews are on May 25 and 26, with all tickets at $20, and 2 p.m. matinees are on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There will be a talk back with the cast after each Sunday matinee.

COVID-19 Policy: Vaccination card checks and masks are not required. However, masks are strongly recommended.

For more information or tickets, call the Box Office at 860-523-5900 x10 or visit www.playhouseonpark.org. Playhouse on Park offers discounts for group sales; inquire today! Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.

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