A Play Reading
Written by Mat Smart & Directed by Michole Biancosino
Featuring Ro Boddie & Tara Giordano
Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 at the Clemmons Family Farm!
2190 Greenbush Road, Charlotte VT 05445
Gates 1 PM; Show 2:00-4:30 PM
"Do you believe this can ever be a country for all?" Susan B. Anthony asks Frederick Douglass on the day they first meet. This question is a focal point of The Agitators, a play that explores the shared dreams, disagreements, and defiance of two great American leaders, both agitating for someone else’s rights.
Written by Mat Smart and featuring actors Ro Boddie & Tara Giordano, the play profiles the 45-year friendship of civil rights leader Frederick Douglass and suffragette Susan B. Anthony.
Clemmons Family Farm, Inc. is an African American-led Vermont 501c3 nonprofit arts and culture organization. Your support helps us to keep the Clemmons farm- one of just 0.4% of all farms in the nation that remains African American-owned- available for free community arts and culture programs like this one. Please donate!
More about The Agitators....
“The Agitators is a stunningly beautiful play that chronicles the long friendship between two abolitionists, yet the themes of the play resonate strongly today as our nation contemplates the upcoming election,” Director Michole Biancosino said. “As you hear the words of Frederick Douglass, a man fighting to be seen as equal to and given the same rights as any other man, you can’t help but draw a historical line from the mid-1800s to our current political and historical moment,” Biancosino added. “I think the arts, and theatre in particular, can be a place where we come together to consider our humanity as a community and ask difficult questions,” Biancosino said, encouraging us to consider: “What type of society do we live in today? What society do we want for our future? And what are we as individuals willing to do to create a more just and equal world?”
With Middlebury College closed to the public, Biancosino decided to take the final event in the college’s 21st Century Theatre Festival, The Agitators, on the road in order to safely livestream the production to students on campus. The Clemmons Family Farm was identified as the perfect partner and location for the play.
Community building, education, and a commitment to providing a shared value and sense of place for Black-owned land are hallmarks of the farm’s mission.
“Steeped in African history, art, and heritage, and with a natural outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Adirondacks, the Clemmons Family Farm brings a deeply meaningful sense of place to The Agitators,” Lisa Mitchell, Executive Director of Town Hall Theater said.
This is the Clemmons Family Farm’s first outdoor program in 2020 due to the pandemic. “We could not be more pleased to have the opportunity to co-host this timely and important play,” said Lydia Clemmons, President of the Clemmons Family Farm. “We are looking forward to sharing this beautiful place with the community we love and have missed so much. We know that people have been yearning to find ways to come together in a loving and intentional way, especially during these tense times. We are grateful for Town Hall Theater’s support of one of the few remaining African-American owned farms in the state and nation and our nonprofit’s mission to build community around African-American history, arts and culture and across their differences of race.”
Tickets can be reserved online only through townhalltheater.org and clemmonsfamilyfarm.org/agitators.html and are will-call only on the day of the event. Tickets are limited and free but must be reserved in advance. In lieu of a ticket price, please consider donating to Town Hall Theater (townhalltheater.org) and the Clemmons Family Farm (clemmonsfamilyfarm.org).
This play is appropriate for ages 12 and up. All ticket holders will be notified of safety protocols, including mandatory mask wearing upon entry, exit and when away from their designated, distanced seating areas. Bring blankets, chairs and dress for an outdoor show, keeping in mind that seating will be on a grass lawn with a slope. If you require special access or assistance to be seated, please let the organizers know in advance.
This event is supported by generous partners: Middlebury College, Town Hall Theater, The Clemmons Family Farm, Middlebury Performing Arts Council, and the Middlebury College Department of Theatre.