2017 Season

Strange Ladies

Back to Play Catalog

Written by Susan Sobeloff
Directed by Jan Zvaifler
Musical direction by Milissa Carey
Produced in: 2017

The Central Works Script Club Interview

Susan Sobeloff in conversation with Patricia Milton



Black women voting in 1920

World Premiere #57: A Central Works Method Musical

written in collaboration with Milissa Carey, Gary Graves, Gwen Loeb, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong, Regina Morones, Vanessa Ramos, Radhika Rao, Renée Rogoff, Gregory Scharpen and Jan Zvaifler.

“Shout the revolution of women!”

1917: A diverse group of Suffragists is fighting to gain the vote for women as the US enters World War I. Torn between loyalty to their political cause and loyalty to the war effort, these women each struggle to make difficult choices in a time of tremendous social upheaval. The personal pits each against the political in Strange Ladies – told with music from the period.

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the imprisonment of the “Silent Sentinels” in Occoquan Workhouse Prison. These women were arrested and sent to jail for picketing the White House and demanding the vote. Their brutal treatment and subsequent hunger strike forced the issue of Woman Suffrage into the national consciousness. It would be another three years before the 19th amendment was ratified, granting women the right to vote.


Production Sponsors: Kathleen Kahn and Erica Nietfeld



Milissa Carey*
Nicol Foster*
Gwen Loeb*
Regina Morones
Radhika Rao
Renee Rogoff

Dramaturgy: Gary Graves
Stage Management: Vanessa Ramos
Costume design: Tammy Berlin
Lighting design: Gary Graves
Prop design: Debbie Shelley
Sound Design: Gregory Scharpen

*member AEA


The “Strange Ladies” (l-r: Regina Morones, Nicol Foster*,
Milissa Carey*, Renee Rogoff, and Gwen Loeb*),
marching for Woman Suffrage in Strange Ladies
by Susan Sobeloff.

Photo by J. Norrena

Vida (Radhika Rao) and Rose (Gwen Loeb*) share in intimate moment before they face the picket line, and possible arrest, in Central Works world-premiere production of Strange Ladies by Susan Sobeloff.

Photo by J. Norrena

“What did you just call me?” Mary (Nicol Foster*)
faces an angry  mob as she pickets for the vote in front
of the White House, in Strange Ladies by Susan Sobeloff.

Photo by J. Norrena

All photos: ACT OUT Photography by Jim Norrena

* member AEA

The “strange ladies,” on hunger strike against conditions in Occoquan workhouse, are tempted with a chicken dinner in Central Works world-premiere production of Strange Ladies by Susan Sobeloff (l-r: Nicol Foster*, Regina Morones, Gwen Loeb* and Radhika Rao).

Photo by J. Norrena

For further information abouth the History of the Woman Suffragette movement:

Strange Ladies: Strange Ladies, Resources and Reading List from the playwright, Susan Soboloff

KQED voting rights timeline

The National Woman’s Party

From Equal Suffrage to Equal Rights: Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party,1910-1928, Chapter 8, Politics, Prison, and Resolution, by Christine Lunardini

Images of suffragettes of 1917:

Read here for more history of the the Suffragettes

The 1913 Suffragette’s March on Washington, DC.