WU Theatre presents “Brightly Dawning Day” in February

by University Communications,

The battle for women’s voting rights in Oregon was hard-fought and hard-won, taking place in parlors, public squares and print media.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Oregon, Willamette University Theatre presents “Brightly Dawning Day,” opening Feb. 15 at Willamette’s Pelton Theatre.

“This is a group-written and composed romp through suffragist songs, speeches and poems of the period,” says director Jon Cole. “It centers on Abigail Scott Duniway's life, viewed through a contemporary lens,”

The production was inspired by English professor Mike Chasar, who brought a collection of suffragist poems to the theatre department with the idea of making a new play from it, Cole says. After reading the poems, Cole and others were motivated to create an original ensemble play about the struggle for suffrage in Oregon.

“The cast brings a rough and exciting style of presentation to this original work. It's more raw, more visceral and more loose than many of the plays we produce,” Cole says. “It's a chance for people to see an experimental approach to creating a celebration of this important event.”

The play runs Feb. 15-23, with a preview performance Feb. 14. Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m., while 2 p.m. matinees are scheduled for Feb. 17 and 23.

Tickets cost $12 for general admission, $8 for students and seniors 65 and older, and $10 per person for groups of 10 or more.

Tickets may be purchased at the door, by calling the WU Theatre Box Office at 503-370-6221 or by email at thtr-tix@willamette.edu. They are also available at www.boxofficetickets.com and at Travel Salem, 181 High St., 503-581-4325.