'Blue Stockings' looks at women's suffrage

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BRATTLEBORO — New England Youth Theatre will present "Blue Stockings" by Jessica Swale, directed by Hallie Flower, at 7 p.m. on April 5, 6, 12 and 13, and at 2 p.m. on April 6 and 13 at NEYT, 100 Flat Street.

The year is 1896. Girton College, Cambridge is the first college in Britain to admit women, and the Girton girls study ferociously to match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a 'Blue Stocking' - an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified and "unsuitable for marriage." Tess Moffat and her fellow `first years' are determined to win the right to graduate, but they don't anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide, or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. The play follows them over one tumultuous academic year, in their fight to change the future of education.

Performed by NEYT's Senior Company of actors ages 13-19, his witty and thought-provoking play is a timely examination of the rights of every woman - to an education, to her own autonomy, and to ride a bicycle, all set against the larger backdrop of women's suffrage.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.neyt.org, in person at the NEYT Box Office, or by phone 802-246-6398 from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

This show was made possible through generous support from Grace Cottage Family Health and Hospital and wasp roduced by special arrangement with Nick Hern Books. New England Youth Theatre is also supported by the Vermont Children's Trust Fund, Vermont Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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