Victoria C. Woodhull: Spiritualist, Suffragist, Free Lover—and in her time, the most famous woman in the United States. In 1872, she ran for President. By the time of her death, she’d been nearly erased from history. On the last night of her very long life, Victoria reckons with spirits and voices from her past as she relives moments both painful and exultant.
UMO Ensemble, a physical theatre company based on Vashon Island, Washington, pivots its artists and creativity to present its first ever audio drama, VIC: The Life and Times of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess, by Maria Glanz.
This seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon Public Radio on the most appropriate and auspicious date of July 4th, 2021 at 9:00 pm, and then will be heard bi-weekly to its conclusion.
Adapted from Glanz’s stage play VIC: Spirit Made Flesh and directed by her frequent collaborator Elizabeth Klob, the show includes original music by Jason Webley and Gretta Harley and a company of well-known Vashon and Seattle-based actors, including Jeannie Dougherty, Ted Dowling, David Godsey, Tami Brockway Joyce, Alyssa Keene, Victoria Knox, Janet McAlpin, Steffon Moody, Jon Schroeder, Dylan Smith, Jason Webley, Lyam White, Bob Williams and Anthony Winkler, with Glanz herself playing Older Victoria and Klob as her mother Roxy.
VIC takes the audience on a wild, séance-inspired ride through an unforgettable American story. In 1872, the United States was in turmoil. The Civil War had shattered notions of what it meant to be “American.” Slavery was eradicated, but reconstruction and racism were coiling around what it meant to be “free.” Robber barons were building railroads and running banks, creating the seeds of what Mark Twain coined the gilded age. Suffragists were calling for women’s right to vote – and Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President of the United States.
Spiritualists, free lovers, owners of the first woman-run stock brokerage in the US, newspaper publishers, and as notorious in their time as the Kardashians are today, Victoria and her sister Tennessee were praised and condemned in equal measure.
VIC: The Life and Times of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess is their story.
Episode One: It is Time
In 1927, Victoria Woodhull is on her deathbed attended by her daughter Zulu. A lifelong spiritualist, Victoria is wrestling with voices from her past as she tries to get her story recorded for posterity when a mysterious guide appears to help her.
Episode Two: Step Right Up
Young Victoria becomes her family’s breadwinner, ‘healing’ gullible customers with both histrionics and her father’s mysterious healing elixir. She meets and marries her first husband as the United States is on the brink of the Civil War, and her second husband soon following its conclusion.
Episode Three: Wall Street Aroused
Victoria, sister Tennessee, and family arrive in NYC and befriend Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who introduces them to the stock market and eventually funds their first major endeavor: the first woman-run stock brokerage in New York City.
Episode Four: Onward and Upward
Victoria and Tennessee hatch their wildest dream: Victoria’s candidacy for President of the United States.They then found one of the first woman-run newspapers in the U.S., The Woodhull & Claflin Weekly. Victoria travels to Washington DC and presents a memorial to Congress calling for equal suffrage for women.
Episode Five: Free Love
The battle between Victoria and the Beechers escalates. Thanks to an ill-fated choice by James Blood, Vicky and Tennie’s less than pristine pasts are revealed at a trial that dominates headlines in New York and beyond. Victoria’s past as an advocate of free love shocks her daughter Zulu.
Episode Six: Mrs. Satan
With their unsavory pasts revealed, Vanderbilt withdraws all financial support. Bankrupt, Victoria is dragged further down by the Beechers and turns to Theodore Tilton for support. She learns a secret about Beecher that she believes will help return her to the nation’s favor.
Episode Seven: The Truth
Out of money, home and hope, Victoria and Tennessee decide to publish the truth about the secrets all know but none admit to. They are arrested for obscenity and spend Election Day 1872 in jail. Younger Victoria has a near-death experience in jail and worlds collide as older Victoria approaches her actual death in 1927.
Maria Glanz; Writer
Elizabeth Klob; director and producer
James Bigby Garver; Sound Designer
Jason Webley and Gretta Harley; Composers
Max Sarkowsky; Associate sound designer and engineer
Michael Hayes; Sound Technical director and photographer
John Longenbaugh; Marketing director
Maria Glanz, Older Victoria
Anthony Winkler, Canning Woodhull, Commodore Vanderbilt, Abraham Lincoln
Tami Brockway Joyce, Tennessee Claflin
Jeannie Dougherty, Catharine Beecher
Elizabeth Klob, Roxy Claflin
David Godsey, Henry Ward Beecher, Karl Marx
Janet McAlpin, Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Lyam White, Demosthenes, James Blood,
Mik Kuhlman, Zulu Maude Woodhull,
Alyssa Keene, Younger Victoria
Ted Dowling, Buck Claflin, John Martin
Bob Williams, The Reporter, Frederick Douglass
Victoria Knox, Utica Claflin, Susan B. Anthony, Libby Tilton
Dylan Smith, Theodore Tilton, Soldier
Steffon Moody, Congressman Bingham, Judge
Jon Schroeder, Mark Twain, Comstock
Jason Webley, Preacher