An epic pop musical based on the true story of America’s first congresswoman, Jeannette electrifies the life and history of suffrage activist, social worker and Montanan, Jeannette Rankin. Elected to Congress in 1916—three years before women are granted the right to vote—Jeannette finds herself to be the only female voice within the halls of power to vote on women’s suffrage. Written by America's most produced playwright Lauren M. Gunderson and pop sensation Ari Afsar, Jeannette heralds one person’s radical voice in America’s ongoing journey toward equal rights for all.
Our hero, Jeannette Rankin, is as smart as a whip, with a Montanan’s penchant for big dreams and a politician's penchant for getting what she wants. She knows how to play the game. She knows how to get shit done. But in her quiet moments she wants what we all want; love, intimacy, to be known for who she truly is. She loved women, but always prioritized winning over love. Her sister is her rock. As is her rich and powerful brother, who ultimately comes to betray her. And though she rejects proposals of marriage by Fiorello LaGuardia, they prove that deep friendship might be better than marriage for unshakably ambitious people.
But like all heroes, ours is fallible, vulnerable, and lonely. For a pacifist, she really loves a good fight and makes enemies as quickly as she can soothe them. Suffragettes don’t resolutely love her either, a fact she can’t swallow without bitterness. Her only recourse is to do what she’s always done: play the game, never show weakness, get it done and prove them all wrong.
New and original songs by Ari will put us inside the hearts of our feminist revolutionaries as well as in the streets marching with thousands, on the campaign trail, in the family home of our heroine, and speaking up for women’s rights in the halls of Congress.
Congresswoman Rankin boldly paved the way for resistance through law and government. She was not only the first woman to win a place in American federal congress, but the first woman in the democratic Western world to be voted into national office. She knew how to work the system and had to fight like hell to make it happen. She didn't win every fight and she didn't come out a national hero, but she made a difference in Congress, in women's rights, and to the thousands of women who wrote to her saying, "I have never had a woman politician to write to. I think you will understand."
Jeannette Rankin’s story is untold. This is her time.
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