Bethlehem women talk of efforts to follow “their music”

logo 69th in a series of posts on Touchstone Theatre logo

The Secret

The Secret begins one day, in late nineteenth century Bethlehem, when sixteen year-old, Helen Wolle, mother of H.D., entered a Moravian Seminary classroom to rehearse a song she looked forward to performing. Much to her shock and, in fact, trauma, she was roughly told to be quiet, to end “this dreadful noise.” by her pastor grandfather, Papalie. And Helen, who loved to sing so much and so well, would never sing again in public. The focus of the panel will be on women in leadership. We will connect the panel to the play via a question that Mamalie (Hilda’s maternal grandmother) asks Hilda in the beginning of the play, and H.D. asks the audience at the end of the play: “Who will follow the music?’ 

Gadfly loves the voices, the stories of our residents, and there was no better place to hear them than at the panels that followed Festival Unbound performances, such as after “The Secret,” the play about H. D.’s life.

Moderator Jennie Gilrain gave the eight panelists about five minutes each to talk about their “dreams, hopes, works” and perhaps recount a time when they were “encouraged or inspired or discouraged and oppressed from following your music.”

Here are the first two.

Abriana Ferrari, who’s been laughed at, told she is not smart enough, too innocent, too young to follow her music, that is, becoming an environmental lawyer with a desire to “help heal the scars that we are implanting on our planet.”

Mary C. Foltz talks of finding a group that enabled her to let go of shame and doubt when in college she was struggling with her sexual identity and how now she is most interested in institutional and structural change that will benefit women in our community having to do with reproductive justice: IVF,  adoption, childcare for low-paid workers, care for children in general.

to be continued . . .

Festival UnBound
Closed but never forgotten

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