May’s Vote: Winning the Fight and the Right in Washington State

by Stephanie Buehler, Contributing Writer

May’s Vote – a play by Toni Douglass about two extraordinary women from Washington’s past is coming to Port Ludlow on Thursday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. Performed virtually, the program is being presented by First Wednesday Luncheon, Friends of Swansonville and Ludlow Village Players in partnership with Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend.

Prim and proper Emma Smith DeVoe and outrageous, flamboyant May Arkwright Hutton worked side by side – but seldom eye to eye – to win the vote for women in Washington State in 1910. Emma and May were as different as night and day, which makes for a very lively play!

Based in Western Washington, Emma, a professional organizer trained by Susan B. Anthony, believed in a ladylike approach to persuasion. Conversely, May, a Spokane millionaire, thought the way to get the vote from men was to “clap ‘em on the back, pass out cigars, and swap stories with ‘em.”

Denise Winter, Artistic Director of Key City Public Theatre, plays May. Seattle-based Barbara Callander plays Emma. Don’t miss your chance to get to know these fascinating women!  Learn how Washington State’s victory – the first in 14 years – became a turning point in the fight to win the vote for women nationwide. 

Please join us online on Thursday, April 8. The actors will give a brief live introduction before the performance and will be available after the show to answer your questions in what we expect will be a lively post-play discussion.

Reservations for May’s Vote must be made at keycitypublictheatre.org/maysvote. Admission is free.  When you reserve tickets, you will also have an opportunity to make a donation to Key City Public Theatre which will help them to continue to make programs like this available. After you reserve tickets and check out, you will receive a confirmation email, which will include a link for viewing the performance – which is presented over Zoom. (A reminder email is also sent closer to the event.)