Persistence, a one-act radio play by Kathy Coudle-King, senior lecturer in English, will air on the radio service of Prairie Public Sunday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m. It will be posted online after that airing. The play is presented by the North Dakota Woman Suffrage Centennial Committee.
The play is a historical depiction of the fight for women’s right to vote in North Dakota, told with humor and drama. It features two leaders of the suffrage movement in the state, Elizabeth Preston Anderson and Linda Slaughter. They come back to life to narrate the 52-year struggle, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, UND alum and instructor Cora Eaton Smith, and “Big Alex” McKenzie.
It was written by Coudle-King in consultation with Barbara Handy-Marchello, former UND history faculty member, and Susan Wefald, North Dakota’s first woman to serve on the North Dakota Public Service Commission.
“Getting this play to the public has been an exercise in persistence. We really wanted to tour the stage play in 2020 to commemorate the centennial, but the pandemic had other plans. Fortunately, I was working with some very persistent women, Susan Wefald and Barbara Handy-Marchello, who do not give up easily. They made the radio play possible through their persistence, and I thank them for their effort,” said Kathy Coudle-King.
Kathy Coudle-King has taught writing at UND since 1994, after earning her M.A. in English at UND in 1993. She holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU. The full story of how Persistence landed on Prairie Public radio can be found here: www.coudle-king.com/blog
The production is supported by the estate of Carolyn Pickard Handy and a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts.