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“Lucretia Mott” by Kim Hanley
Actress and historic interpreter Kim Hanley will perform as Lucretia Mott, Saturday, July 19, 7:30-9:30PM at the Friends Meeting of Washington. Kim’s first-person characterization stems from a personal appreciation of Lucretia Mott, as woman, mother, seeker and activist and is the result meticulous research and the use of historically accurate materials and costumes.
“I sincerely believe that Lucretia Mott is one of America’s greatest homegrown heroes. Studying and embracing her lessons has made me a better person. Of all the ladies I portray, I admire her the most.”
Friends Meeting of Washington (DC) is located at 2111 Florida Avenue, NW, one block west of Connecticut Avenue, north of Dupont Circle.
Lucretia Coffin Mott (January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880)
Seeker, Quaker Minister, Abolitionist, Suffragist, and Anti-War Activist, Wife and Mother
In an age when most women were not expected to think about issues of the day, Lucretia Mott not only contemplated them, but also spoke out on them.
She was raised in a Quaker community in Massachusetts and married James Mott. By 1818 she was serving as a Public Friend visiting and speaking to other Quaker communities. As a follower of Elias Hicks, she emphasized the divinity within every individual.
Her early sermons spoke of the necessity of the Anti-Slavery movement and advocated the use of Free Produce. By the early 1830s she had become a familiar sight on the abolitionist podium, and was elected as an American Representative to the 1840 General (or World’s) Anti-Slavery Convention, held in London, England. Before the conference in London began, a majority of the men in attendance voted to exclude women from participating, and the female delegates were required to sit in a segregated area. It was during this time that Lucretia began to face the realization that in addition to the cause of Anti-Slavery, she would muster her efforts to the struggle for women’s equality.
In 1848, while still devoted to the abolitionist cause, Mrs. Mott joined Elizabeth Cady Stanton calling together the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY. She continued her involvement in causes for peace and equality through her later years.
Her strength and intelligence combined with a natural gentle manner disarmed her critics. Her messages are timeless. The words and lessons of Lucretia Mott continue to open minds and hearts to a simple truth: If we embrace the inner light within ourselves, we fan the same flame in others, and in time mankind will come to the full understanding that all people are created divine and equal.
Lucretia Mott is the flower of Quakerism. That woman has a unity of sense, virtue, and good-meaning perfectly impressed upon her countenance which are a guarantee of victory in all the fights to which her faith and connection lead her…No mob remained a mob where she went. She brings domesticity and common sense, and that propriety which every man loves, directly into this hurly-burly, and makes every bully ashamed. Her courage is no merit, one almost says, where triumph is so sure.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
Actress Kim Hanley is an historical first-person impersonator and founder of “Remembering the Ladies,” educational programs that feature the essential and influential roles women have played throughout American history. Kim’s entertaining and informative performances make history fun for audiences of all ages.”
On July 4, 2014 Kim performed as Abigail Adams in the dramatic reading of the “Declaration of Independence” on the steps of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Washington, DC. where she continued throughout the day to perform in character, interacting with visitors inside the National Archives Building Boeing Learning Center.
Kim began interpreting Abigail Adams in 1997. Her historic first-person character portrayals have grown to include Betsy Ross, Molly Pitcher, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Annie Oakley, and Lucretia Mott. Most recently she has added to her repertoire, Mary Young Pickersgill: the Baltimore Seamstress of the Star Spangled Banner, Grace Coolidge: the wife of 30thPresident Calvin Coolidge (also the first woman to have had a job and career before becoming the First Lady), and Harriet Beecher Stowe: the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
Kim Hanley has performed at the White House Visitors Center, National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History, National Park Service, National Constitution Center, Independence Visitors Center, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania Historical Society, Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, Smithsonian Associates TAHG, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Jefferson Educational Society, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Franklin Institute, Delaware Humanities Forum, Frazier Museum, Liberty Museum, and Schools and Libraries throughout New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. She is also a regularly requested speaker at lineage associations across the continent such as DAR, NSCDA, SAR, the Society of the Cincinnati, and the National Society of New England Women.
Kim Hanley is a fine actor, singer, costumer and dancer who trained and danced from an early age with the School of American Ballet and the Eglevsky Ballet in New York and with the visiting Bolshoi Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. Ms. Hanley danced through high school and in community theatre productions. She credits her dance background and in-depth high school acting courses, including daily vocal labs and onstage work, for her ability to rise to any occasion when performing. Later in Ms. Hanley’s dance career she studied Modern, Jazz and Theater Dance with her primary teachers Bill Hastings and Chet Walker. Kim’s dance research includes medieval, early English country and 18th century dance.
In addition to her dance background, Ms. Hanley is an accomplished costumer whose specialty is historical fashion. She includes among her bigger clients The Philly Phanatic. Kim’s academic training includes a BFA in Restoration and History of Applied Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York.
In developing her first person characterizations, she has found that the same research for object studies and restoration objects applies to creating historically accurate costumes and characters: the same utilization of materials, the same exploration of historical context.
In 1860, Lucretia Mott spoke in Bristol, PA:
It is not enough to be generous, and give alms. The enlarged soul, the true philanthropist, is compelled by Christian principle to look beyond the bestowing of a scant pittance to the mere beggar of the day, to the duty of considering the causes and sources of poverty. We must consider how much we have done toward causing it.