Rebel Women

Written by:

Joan Bryans

Cast Size:
15

Roles For:

  • LGBTQ+: 4
  • Men: 4
  • Women: 11

Genre:

Drama
Feminist Theatre
Historical
Verbatim/Research-Based

Themes:

20th Century
Democracy
England
Feminism
Gender
LGBTQ+
Music
Suffragists
War

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2013

Synopsis:

Early 20th century London. A poor cotton mill worker is best friends with the daughter of a Viceroy of India. An illiterate cockney housewife is teaching a Canadian university graduate. A young girl is being coached to convert British Columbia to the cause. Women carry hammers in their muffs. What is going on? War! But war waged as women want it waged.

Called to battle by a diminutive, delicate lady, as battle-scarred and hardened as any grunt, the front line of the militant suffragettes contained a motley bunch of women. Join these and their fellow rebels as they are swept up in the maelstrom that will alter their lives forever, cause governments to fall, and shape democracy for us all.

Rebel Women is a theatre verbatim play: the women’s actual words and songs, insightful, sometimes hilarious and always searingly truthful, are used to create the play.

Characters:

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst / Christabel Pankhurst / Annie Kenney / Lady Constance Lytton / Mary Richardson / Wallace Dunlop / Helena Gutteridge / Elizabeth Dean / Mrs. Leigh / Mrs. Payne / Maggie Scott

Note: These are all real people except for Maggie Scott whose character was inspired by Dora Thewlis. The story they tell actually happened.

For the Vancouver production the cast comprised of 11 women and 4 men. More doubling could be accomplished or the cast could be expanded if desired.

First Produced:

2014, Jericho Arts Centre, Vancouver, B.C.

Resources:

Rebel Women is available through the CPO Website.

To view other works by this playwright, click here.

Notes:

While these roles are all based on real people, the decision whether to cast as realistically as possible physically or to go with people of colour or Indigenous peoples is up to the director. The playwright is open to such a move so long as the essential core of the real person is respected and portrayed.

Gallery: