AN INVITATION TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

The Millay Colony for the Arts and Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House invite regional High School students interested in Drama, History, and Literature to participate in an Arts Education program centered on the upcoming production of the Gertrude Stein opera The Mother of Us All! This includes workshops, a special performance of the opera with backstage tour, and a conversation with director and the cast.

Cost is $15 per student for the entire program, to cover materials. This can be waived if it
presents an obstacle to full participation. Details below or call Caroline Crumpacker,
Executive Director of The Millay Colony for the Arts at 518-392-4144. Or email director@millaycolony.org.

About The Mother of Us All

To mark the centenary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, Hudson Hall and The Millay
Colony have partnered on a community-based production of The Mother of Us All, telling the
life story of Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, with music by Virgil
Thomson and libretto by Gertrude Stein. The production and related public events provide
essential commentary on who we are today as women, people of color, queers, activists, rural
residents, and individuals with the right to a voice and a vote– themes that are as relevant
today as they were 100 years ago.

The Mother of Us All will open Hudson Hall’s 2017 season. Susan B. Anthony spoke about
abolishing slavery and establishing women’s suffrage from this very stage.

All students will be invited as active audience members for a production at Hudson Hall.

This includes:
* a backstage tour (with a look at all the elements of the opera – lighting/sound/costumes etc.)
* tickets to the final dress rehearsal, with attendance during cast notes from the director.
* Community Nights, lectures and talk-backs, at Hudson Hall during the performance run.

About the Workshops

An Introduction with Danniel Schoonebeek & Simone White
Saturday September 16, 11 AM to 4 PM at The Millay Colony

In this four-hour workshop (with breaks for lunch and stretching), we will dive deep into the libretto for The Mother of Us All, exploring its language, sounds, musicality, meanings and form. Teachers will lead the class with movement, improvisational writing and reading aloud. The mood will be both playful and attentive.

Looking at the Issues with Emily Abendroth & Delia Melis
Sunday September 17, 11 AM to 2 PM

This three-hour workshop (with breaks for lunch and stretching) will examine the subjects of
The Mother of Us All (voting rights, suffragism and abolitionism) through the lens of our
contemporary political issues. This will be a lively conversation with lots of materials and
context provided by workshop leaders.

* Both workshops are open to students 14 to 18 – all levels welcome!
* Workshops include booklets with materials related to the opera
* Follow up classes will be offered in Hudson to interested students.
* Lunch provided both days.
* Bios of the educators below.
* Both Workshops take place at the pastoral campus of The Millay Colony.

About the Teachers

Emily Abendroth

Emily Abendroth is a writer and teacher residing in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of Exclosures, as well as several chapbooks and a broadside/multimedia project with Taproot Editions. Emily received her BA from the University of California at Berkeley and her MA from Temple University. She regularly teaches literature, critical theory, and creative writing to undergraduates and students of all ages. Emily has led courses at Bard College, Temple University, the Institute for Writing & Thinking, and through the Bard Prison Initiative.

Delia Mellis is Director of College Writing and Academic Resources for the Bard Prison Initiative. She has been a member of the BPI faculty since 2008 and taught for four years in the Department of Urban Studies at Barnard College. Mellis has written and lectured on race and gender in U.S. history throughout her career. She holds a Ph.D. in United States History from the Graduate Center of City University of New York and a B.A. from Bard College.

Danniel Schoonebeek is the author of three books of poetry. His first book of poems, American Barricade (YesYes Books, 2014), was named one of the year’s ten standout debuts by Poets & Writers. Danniel hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn and has served as editor of the PEN Poetry Series since 2013. In 2015, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation.

Simone White

Simone White earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. Simone is the author of the full-length collection House Envy of All the World (2010) and two chapbooks. Her work has been praised for its innovative complexity, allusive song, and “lyric deconstruction of desire, entitlement, blackness, the domestic, language and diction,” in the words of Anna Moschovakis.White has received fellowships from Cave Canem and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She is completing a PhD in English at the CUNY Graduate Center and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The workshops and all related materials were created in conjunction with Erica Kaufman,
Director of Faculty & Curriculum Development, Institute for Writing & Thinking at Bard
College; and Joan Retallack, dramaturge of The Mother of Us All and John D. & Catherine T.
MacArthur Professor Emerita of Humanities at Bard.