Jessica Litwak | 50,000 Mice:
The Selena Solomon Story
In celebrating the CENTENNIAL year of the 19th Amendment, we explore our history in order to shape our future!
Originally aired on
Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 pm PDT
This is a fast-moving, funny, educational, and moving look at an overlooked corner of the Suffrage movement. It is a one-woman play written for the 2020 Centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment. This play will look at many factions of suffrage from the perspective of a Jewish Suffragette trying to reach working-class women who have hitherto been mostly ignored by the U.S. movement. Among the many characters, the play will include views from diverse women across the movement.
The origin of the title: When 40 women went to the legislature to plead for the right to vote – appearing before the committee on Public Morals, they stated that they represented 50,000 women in California. The chairman sneeringly replied: “You are no more than 50,000 mice.”
Jessica Litwak is a playwright, actor, educator, puppet builder, and recognized leader in the field of socially engaged theatre. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway and on stages across the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. including The Goodman Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, The Women’s Project, La MaMa, DR2, The Renberg Theatre, and The Edinburgh Festival.
Her plays include Dream Acts, A Pirate’s Lullaby, The Promised Land, Secret Agents, I Won’t Be Afraid, The Narcissism of Small Differences, Victory Dance, The Night It Rained, Terrible Virtue, Wider Than The Sky, My Heart is in the East, The Wall, and Sometimes the Lights.
As a playwright and cultural critic, Litwak is published by No Passport Press, TCG, Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times, Drama Therapy Review, Engaged Scholar Journal, HowlRound, and TCG Salon. As an actress, Litwak has performed on stages across the U.S. and in Europe. She wrote and directed The Fear Project funded by the U.S. State Department with the Archa Theatre in the Czech Republic and the Sabhagar Theatre Festival in Kolkata, India. She directed her play, The Moons Of Jupiter at Naropa University in Colorado. She directed What Would You Name Her? at The Citizen’s Theatre in Glasgow.
Litwak founded the New Generation Theatre Ensemble where her plays for youth: GRIM, Postcards from Canterbury, The Great Journey Home, Verona High, and War: An American Dream were co -created with the young company. Litwak founded the H.E.A.T. Collective (www.theheatcollective.org) in order to coalesce her practice and workshops, events, and productions that bring together the practices of Healing, Education, and Activism through Theatre. Litwak is a graduate of RADA, NYU, Columbia University and Antioch University. She has served as faculty at institutions such as Columbia, NYU, Lesley University, Whitman College, Hollins, Naropa, The Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College, Marymount, Stella Adler Academy, theDirector’s Symposium at La Mama Umbria (Italy). Her workshops have been hosted by The Freedom Theatre and Yes Theatre in Palestine. She is a core member of Theatre Without Borders. She is a Fulbright Scholar.
Tracy Ward, Director is a Freelance Director based in the Bay Area focusing on New Works. Her recent productions include the world premiere of The Lady Scribblers at CMT, The Cake at NCTC, Actually at Aurora Theatre Company, When We Were Young and Unafraid by Sarah Treem at CustomMade Theatre in SF, Bright Shining Sea by Julianne Jigour at Playground, The Thrush and the Woodpecker, The Dragon Play, and What Every Girl Should Know at Impact Theatre.
She is a proud company member of Playground, and an Associate Member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Union.