(other Berkeley/Oakland/San Leandro play dates/times at the bottom)

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Save the date(s) for a peace and justice play tour with the original cast! March 28 – April 2

…for a powerful, dramatic and timely play about the funny, brilliant, warm, irascible, scrappy woman who voted against both World Wars — in Congress. The WWI vote landed on her in her first 6 days in 1917, and she was totally alone in her vote against WWI, like our Congresswoman Barbara Lee about Iraq, as well as our Senator Barbara Boxer about the last election. The first vote was taken on Good Friday, "the anniversary of the most notorious murder in history," as Jeannette Rankin pointed out while she tried to delay the vote in order to get people to think!

Working with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Europe, Jeannette railed against the Treaty of Versailles as it would “create a monster” by punishing Germany. In the US, she led a Peace Parade at the Republican convention in Chicago in 1932 with the National Congress of Jewish Women and church groups, and recent Nobel Peace prize-winner Jane Addams. They were calling for Peace Planks to outlaw war forever (urging Democrats to do the same). As founding Vice President of the ACLU, she urged President Roosevelt to rescue Jews/religious and political prisoners from Europe in 1933 and onwards! The ACLU effort was shamefully rebuffed.

A major suffragist since 1910, Jeannette Rankin was the first woman in Congress, voted in from Montana in 1916, four years before women even had the vote nationally (1920). In fact, she was the first woman elected to the legislature of any western democracy! Jeannette Rankin fought for equal pay and an 8-hour day for women, child labor laws, the rights of Native and African Americans, and rights of immigrants, including the first bill for immigrant women's rights to citizenship independent of their husbands. Gerrymandered out of her district in Montana, she lived in her own dirt floor house and worked in Georgia among poor people for a system of direct representation in presidential elections. During those decades she devised a multi-candidate system for a broader spectrum of Congressional representation. 

After fighting against the Korean War in her 70s, at 88 she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade Peace Parade of 5000 women on the US Capitol against the Vietnam war and demanded unilateral disarmament, nuclear and otherwise. She spoke out against the corporate take-over of America. She left funds in her will for educational aid for poor women over the age of 35.

Come and see how she is reviled by the public and flirted with by heads of government hoping to distract her, yet she stands her ground. She was so vilified that she fought for free speech for everyone. The play portrays most of the above, based primarily on Jeannette’s own interview by the UC Berkeley Bancroft Oral History Library’s Suffragists Oral History Project. 

“Although coming from a very WASP state, Montana, Jeannette made it a practice to sit next to Blacks or Jews attending suffrage meetings to counteract prejudice in the suffrage movement. She was also strongly pro-labor. I’ve been going to plays for 70 years, in NYC, here (SF Bay Area), London, and Moscow. Jeanmarie Simpson ranks with the best I’ve seen anywhere.” Bill Mandel, 37 year KPFA Commentator

Leonard Nimoy introduced the play when it was performed at North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation to 200 people. Tens of thousands have seen it in six states and it is touring the East Bay March 28 – April 2, to raise funds for their NYC production at an anti-war cultural center in late May – mid June. Donations $10 dollars or less, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Temple Beth Sholom members will enter free in San Leandro. Redwood Gardens/Claremont residents will enter free at their venues.

Thanks to the energy of Kathy Krohn, Mimi Zinn, Rita Goldhor, Sophie Miron, Dolores Evans, Heidi Finberg. It was decided that this play will be put on at Temple Beth Sholom in 24 hours from the MID — Multi-Interest Day announcement!

“This is an experience which will enrich your soul, soothe your heart and strengthen your resolve,” per the Nevada Shakespeare Company board president, Joan Walker. See more about the play's history and future, and donate to:

The actor/playwright/artistic director is the incomparable Jeanmarie Simpson, of Arizona, trained in Toronto. She previously did the famous plays on Emma Goldman: directed the one with Jessica Litwack: Love, Anarchy and other Affairs, did everything for her own one-woman play Emma, and, as the Broadway musical star in Tintypes, sang as Emma! Jeanmarie's husband Cameron Crain acts 80 parts as Everyman, and directs the play, called “A Single Woman.”

– Laura X, founder/director of the former Women's History Library (, MID fan. 

The main hosts for the week's tour are Women's International League for Peace and Freedom/Women for Peace ( in Berkeley. Most are amazing energizers in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. The main Berkeley co-sponsors include a duo: United Methodist churches – Trinity and Epworth: Congregation Beth El; Ahimsa (a non-violent interfaith group); Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Bancroft Library; Grey Panthers; League of Women Voters; Oakland/East Bay NOW ( .) Veteran Feminists of America is our first national co-sponsor.

Venues: Temple Beth Sholom, 642 Dolores Ave, San Leandro. 

Wednesday, 7 pm, March 30.

Grand Ave. exit off 580. For a map, go to

The other venues are senior residential facilities: Redwood Gardens, Berkeley, Monday, 7 pm March 28, and Thursday, 7 pm March 31; Claremont House, Oakland, Saturday, 2:30 pm April 2.  RSVP due to limited seating at all venues:, or 510-587-3228 voicemail. The 51 bus will bring you from Berkeley, Oakland and even the isle of Alameda.

So, March, Women's History Month, will go out like a lion!

More co-sponsors decisions pending include other Jewish groups, and other interfaith groups plus campus faculty and student groups. We are looking for more co-sponsoring groups to help continue the struggle in Jeannette’s many efforts to save the world.

Labor donated for publicity, volunteers needed. Please contact or call
510-587-3228 (voicemail). Wheelchair accessible.  Please, no scents, perfumes or fragrances.

“A Single Woman” - The life, times and fortitude of the first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin.
A play by Jeanmarie Simpson

". . . I've been going to plays for 70 years, in NYC, here [SF Bay Area], London, and Moscow. Jeanmarie Simpson ranks with the best I've seen anywhere." Bill Mandel, 37 year KPFA Commentator

Audiences in the Bay Area will be able to experience a passionate, timely play about a unique advocate for peace, free speech, women, children, labor, immigrants, Native and African Americans, and Holocaust refugees. Jeannette Rankin was elected as the first congresswoman, even before Suffrage.  She voted against US entry into both world wars: In 1917, and again in 1941 when hers was the lone dissenting voice, (as was Rep. Barbara Lee against the Iraq invasion in 2002). In 1968 she led the Jeannette Rankin Brigade of 5000 women on the Capitol in DC against the Vietnam War and demanded unilateral disarmament, nuclear and otherwise. She once said, "You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."

With the original cast A Single Woman creator, Jeanmarie Simpson, performs the role of Rankin: "It's vital that people meet Jeannette Rankin, her words, her actions and her remarkable character. The more people become involved, the more of an impact Jeannette's voice can make on contemporary culture." Critics have broadly acclaimed the play: “Simpson cleverly portrays Rankin’s fury by violently kneading bread – a dual task women often perform)….When (she) speaks, the air is electrified; her words are surely filled with as much power as Rankin’s ever were…timing and emotion are intense and flawless.” Miranda Jesch, Reno News and Review.


Redwood Gardens
Monday March 28, 7pm
Address: 2951 Derby St., Berkeley
Across from Claremont Blvd. On #7 just off #51 bus line
Info:(510)587-3228 *

Temple Beth Sholom
Wed. March 30, 7pm
Address: 642 Dolores Ave., San Leandro, 
Take the Grand Ave. exit off 580. 
For a map,
Info:(510)587-3228 *

Redwood Gardens
Thursday March 31, 7pm
Address: 2951 Derby St., Berkeley
Across from Claremont Blvd. On #7 just off #51 bus line 
Info:(510)587-3228 *

Claremont House
Saturday April 2, 2:30pm
Address: 4500 Gilbert St.,Oakland, CA
At Broadway and Pleasant Valley/51st St.Just off #51 line
Info:(510)587-3228 *

Tickets: $10 - Sliding scale/no one turned away
Wheelchair accessible 

This is the SF East Bay benefit tour for NYC anti-war stage production by Nevada Shakespeare Company.

Sponsors: Ahimsa; UC Berkeley Bancroft Library; Congregation Beth El, Berkeley; Grey Panthers; League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany and Emeryville ; Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute; Oakland/East Bay National Organization for Women; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Women for Peace; Epworth United Methodist Church, Berkeley; Trinity United Methodist Church, Berkeley; Veteran Feminists of America.

For past and future play information
Contact: Cameron Crain
(775) 324-4198 more information
For local information and reservations
(510) 587-3228 RSVP
Volunteers & Donations Needed