“A Different Woman”: An Interview With Veronica Russel

Jan 6, 2011 by

I had the pleasure of catching up to Veronica Russell recently on the phone to talk about her new stage show, “A Different Woman“, and her attempts to bring it to the frozen north.

The topic of the play is a blistering feminist voice from rural Texas in the 1920s. Here is Veronica’s description from her website:

Ahhh… the freewheeling, liberated 1920’s… women finally get the vote, but apparently publishing anecdotes about childhood abuse, your brothers’ sexual exploits with the family livestock, and sincere wishes that death and destruction might be visited upon all the members of your backwater Texas family would still get a girl institutionalized and kicked out of Great Britain.

Edna Gertrude Beasley is the most incendiary feminist author you’ve never heard of. Her autobiography, “My First Thirty Years,” was banned upon its publication in 1925 for “gross obscenity,” and most copies were destroyed in U.S. and British customs offices. Some eventually made it into circulation, though the governor of Texas later sent the Texas Rangers to seek out and seize any copies that had managed to infiltrate his great state.

So here you go, time to learn about a vital and vibrant voice that nearly got censored completely out of existence. (This interview was done over the phone so please excuse a little bit of distortion. )

I think it important to get Gertrude Beasly’s story out there. As recent furor over censoring Huckleberry Finn shows there is an effort being made to backpedal the darker aspects of our cultural history. To me this is a profound disservice to the American public. How can we avoid the mistakes of the past if they are only viewed through rose colored glasses.

-Loki, Founder and Curator

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