AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A new play titled “The Big Debate” will premiere Tuesday, August 23, at 7:00 p.m., at Etherredge Center on the campus of USC Aiken. This is one of the four final events of Aiken Voices and Votes in August.
In February, Aiken Voices and Votes launched a seven-month-long celebration to commemorate advancements in American voting rights history. Volunteers organized 16 special events throughout the greater Aiken area.
The celebration is inspired by a Smithsonian Institution exhibition currently on display at the Aiken County Historical Museum of a similar title. The multimedia exhibit “Voices and Votes: Democracy in America” covers the topic throughout the nation’s history.
It examines the tensions between Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, stalwarts of the American civil rights movement. As a result of Douglass’ activism, Black men were finally able to vote in the 1870s. Stanton and Anthony laid the foundation for the 1920s passage of voting rights for women.
The playwright is Chris Garcia. His plays have been produced at Augusta area playhouses, and his short fiction writings have been included in several anthologies. Nancy Gamba Hansen directs the play. Kelvin Jenkins plays the role of Frederick Douglass. As Susan B. Anthony, Dana Cheshire plays the part.
Hansen, Jenkins, and Cheshire joined weekend Good Morning Augusta anchor Shawn Cabbagestalk to discuss the play.
All events on the Aiken Voices and Votes calendar, including “The Big Debate,” are free and open to the public.