Local Playwright Highlights Women in Baseball
Highlighted in this years “Bloomers, Ballots, and Marmalade: Women’s History Week” is a reading from local playwright and Oneida Public Library Assistant Director, Tom Murray. The Oneida Public Library Players will premiere the readers theater production of Murray’s new comedy “The Game of Life: The Great Peterboro Baseball Story” on September 22 at 7PM with a free performance in the Smithfield Community Center, upstairs in the National Abolition Hall of Fame.
“The Game of Life” was inspired by the first recorded female baseball game that occurred in Petersboro in August of 1868. Thanks to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the women’s baseball club in Peterboro is the most well-documented at that time. In letters depicting the team, she writes: “We were delighted to find here a baseball club of girls. Nannie Miller, a grand-daughter of Gerrit Smith, is the Captain, and handles the club with a grace and strength worth of notice.” These girls were given the name “Bloomer Girls” for the trousers they would wear on the field.
Playwright Tom Murray based major characters on historical figures: Gerrit Smith and his wife Ann, their granddaughter Nannie Miller and Smith’s famous cousin, the suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton. With poetic license, the play adds to the mix of suffragettes and abolitionists some residents of Peterboro’s Home for Destitute Children, a charitable home founded by Gerrit Smith in 1871.
Music and songs of the period, including suffragette anthems, will be provided by members of the Craobh Dugan Irish musicians: Mike Carrol on flute, concertina and bones; Bill Fahy on guitar and banjo; Kelly Fahy-Ciotti on vocals; Mike Hoke on fiddle; and Skip Mansur on guitar and mandolin.
The Game of Life is sure to be a comedic and entertaining look at not only women’s role in the Great American Pastime, but also how our local community played a part in it.
September 22nd at 7:00PM
Smithfield Community Center
October 20th at 7:00pm
Madison Hall on State Rt. 20
November 5th at 2:00pm
Oneida Community Mansion House at 170 Kenwood Ave.
Museum entrance: $5/adults, $3/student