alphabetical author index

Holding the Torch for Liberty

Sarah, a seamstress at the Liberty Pants Factory and fellow suffragettes fight for the right to vote. They enlist the spirit of women to fight the forces of inequality.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Target Audience: Adult, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18), Children (Age 6 - 10), Appropriate for all audiences

  • Performance Group:
  • Jr High/Primary, Elementary School / Primary
Holding the Torch for Liberty tells the story of the culmination of the women's suffrage movement in the United States, circa 1920. Through ragtime, classic blues, New Orleans and Cuban infused original music, Holding the Torch for Liberty traces how courageous working women joined forces to fight for and win final passage of the 19th Amendment.

Combing actual historical events with magical realism, the Statue of Liberty comes to life, goes dancing in a Harlem nightclub, and later meets a determined group of suffragists, Ms. Liberty's torch becomes a window to the future, as the roles for women in the country grow -- women doctors, lawyers, engineers and even the president. With the country openly divided, a lone congressman from Tennessee gets an inspirational letter from his mother reminding him that standing up for justice and doing what is right comes easily when you follow your heart.

  • Casting: 12M or F
  • Casting Notes: Holding The Torch For Liberty may be played with a flexible cast of as small as 12 actors or as many as 40 or more. Doubling may occur throughout. Likewise, some lines may be distributed to other characters to reduce cast size. Just be aware of dialogue that is significant to a particular character.

NEWSGIRLS - Young newspaper sellers, girls dressed as boys.
LITTLE SISTER - Youngest Newsgirl.
SALLY - A helpful young women, factory worker/suffragist.
SUSAN - Leader of the Suffragists.
ALICE - A mover and shaker, has a magical quality.
MS. LIBERTY - The Statue of Liberty, French, whimsical/strong
ANNA - Factory worker/suffragist
LUCY - Factory worker/suffragist
INEZ - Factory worker/suffragist
MARY - Factory worker/suffragist, in love with Jason
CARRIE - Factory worker/suffragist
ELIZABETH - Factory worker/suffragist, religious tone
ROSE - Factory worker/suffragist
ROSALI - Factory worker/suffragist
RUTH - Factory worker/suffragist
JASON - Factory worker, Mr. Murdock's handyman, in love with Mary
MR. MURDOCK - Liberty Pants Factory owner, capitalist
GRACE MURDOCK - Wife of Mr. Murdock, mother of Sonny, supporter of women's suffrage
SONNY MURDOCK - Obedient son of Mr. Murdock and Grace Murdock, Tennessee legislator who casts final vote
LOU ANN WATERS - Featured jazz singer
HEAD BOAR - Leader of the male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER THEO - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER ROSCOE - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER EDGAR - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER WALLACE - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER CLARKE - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER CLARENCE - Male chauvinist lodge members
BROTHER GUS - Male chauvinist lodge members
CARLA - Young hip woman, New York style dialect, dancer
JAILER - Run the jail, tough
SECRETARY - Sonny Murdock's secretary in Tennessee
HOBO - Man down on his luck, comedic
STATUE SELLER / PEANUTS & POPCORN SELLER - Statue of Liberty seller (subway), comedic; food seller (Yankee Stadium)
SAM - Yankee Stadium fan, interacts with Ms. Liberty
GUISEPPE - Very young boy, 8 years old, Italian dialect
GRANDMA / GRANDPA - Guiseppe's grandmother or grandfather, Italian dialect
PATRICK / PATRICIA - Young man or woman, Irish dialect
SHAWN / SHANIA - Young man or woman, Irish dialect
RACHEL - Sara's Mother, Sol's wife, nagging, Jewish dialect
SOL - Sara's father, Rachel's husband, nagged, Jewish dialect
SARA - Very young girl, 8 years old, Jewish dialect
JACK - Subway rider
POLICE OFFICER #1 - New York cop
POLICE OFFICER #2 - New York Cop
TRAIN OPERATOR (V.O.) - Subway announcer
MR. SPEAKER - Tennessee speaker of the State House
SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN - Tennessee citizen
TENNESSEE RESIDENT - Male, conservative anti-suffrage citizen.

Chorus Roles:
FLAME DANCERS - Dancers, invoke the spirit of women and freedom
BAND LEADER - Master of Ceremonies at Eubie's Club


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