Randall-Griffiths to present living history performance of suffragist Catt on March 2 at AU

02/18/2020 ASHLAND, Ohio -- In observance and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting a woman's right to vote, the Ashland University College of Arts & Sciences' biennial Symposium Against Indifference will present Dr. Deleasa Randall-Griffiths' living history performance of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt on Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.  

Catt was president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1920 when the 19th amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. This performance will highlight the early efforts occurring long before Catt became involved in women’s rights, along with her own part of the woman suffrage story. 

Presented in a Chautauqua format, the performance by Randall-Griffiths, professor of communication studies, will begin with a pre-show slide presentation on the suffrage movement with music to orient the audience to the theme and context while serving as a lead into the performance which includes three parts:

  1. An in-character monologue
  2. An in-character question-and-answer session with the audience
  3. An out-of-character question-and-answer session to cover broader topics, including controversial aspects of suffrage work, and things that occurred after Catt’s death

Randall-Griffiths is a professor and director of the Online Communication Program in the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University and also co-chairs
the Ashland Chautauqua Planning Committee, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. Each summer, this committee brings history to life through performance. In 2015, she began her
own Chautauqua performance career as Catt. Like Catt, she uses her communication skills to educate, advocate and celebrate the accomplishments of women’s suffrage leaders. 

In 2012, Randall-Griffiths won the Ohio Communication Association’s Innovative Teacher Award. She teaches a wide range of classes at AU, including human communication, family communication, interpersonal communication, health communication and intercultural communication. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from Indiana University and her master’s in performance studies and doctorate in interpersonal communication from the Department of Speech Communication at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

The College of Arts and Sciences at Ashland University inaugurated the Symposium Against Indifference in 2001 as a biennial series of events and lectures dedicated to overcoming apathy in the face of human concerns by raising awareness and promoting compassionate engagement. The Symposium seeks to challenge the University community — as well as the wider Ashland community — toward a deeper understanding of difficult issues and toward creative personal and corporate responses.

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting a woman’s right to vote, along with the ratification and repeal of the 18th Amendment prohibiting liquor — the 2019-20 theme of “Liberty & Responsibility” seeks to understand and find productive responses to the constant and unavoidable tension between liberty and responsibility.

For more information about this program, go to cas-symposium.blogspot.com or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of CAS communications at tapplega@ashland.edu or 419.289.5950.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.eduvalues the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.###

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