Actress and activist, Lynne McKenney Lydick, will bring abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster to life in her inspiring one-woman play, Yours for Humanity, Abby, on Wednesday, March 21, from 7 to 8 p.m. in Rodman Main Auditorium. The play is based on the letters and speeches of Abby in 1854 during a time of much social and political differences in our country. Hear Abby as she delivers her powerful orations against slavery and prejudice which helped to change the views of many.
Abby Kelley Foster (1811-1887) was a radical abolitionist, women's rights activist, and a member of the Western Anti-Slavery Society who dedicated her life to social justice, spending nearly twenty years traveling across the nation as a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society. It was through the membership of this Society that Abby knew Sarah and Ridgeway Haines of Alliance, Ohio, also dues paying members of the Western Anti-Slavery Society. Abby and her husband, Stephen S. Foster, also an abolitionist, would stay at the Haines House when they were speakers. The Society's annual meeting in the 1850s was held alternately in Salem, Ohio and Alliance, Ohio. The Haines land would temporarily house a tent that accommodated large crowds. A report from the Anti-Slavery Bugle said that 3,000 attended over a 3-day weekend.
Lynne McKenney Lydick portrays Foster for the Worcester Women's History Project based in Worcester, Massachusetts, that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable and educational organization incorporated in 1995 with a mission "to celebrate and document women's contributions to the history, social fabric, and culture of Worcester and beyond." For Lydick, portraying Abby Kelley Foster combines her passion for acting with her passionate conviction that "all people are created equal and deserve to be free."
As part of the program, the Inspirational Voices of Praise Gospel Choir from the University of Mount Union will perform an abolitionist song. The program is funded in part by Arts in Stark and Rodman Public Library. Information in part is provided by the Worcester Women's History Project. The photo of Lynne McKenney Lydick as Abby Kelley Foster is courtesy of the Worcester Women's History Project.This event is free and open to the public. No registration is needed. For more information, call the Main Library at 330-821-2665, ext. 107.