As Adele and her teenage daughter Zoey pack for a move, items they pull from trunks and boxes—a bikini, a bumper sticker, an infant’s never-worn shirt—propel Adele into memories of the 1970s women’s movement in her home town of Wichita, Kansas. She is stunned to learn that her 16-year-old daughter is not only unaware of how much happened in that tumultuous decade, but oblivious to how recently won many women’s achievements have been.
Radiating Like a Stone is adapted, with Gina Austin-Fresh, who also directed the premiere, from the book Radiating Like a Stone: Wichita Women and the 1970s Feminist Movement, by Myrne Roe, which was published in late fall 2011 to critical praise. Its contributors include noted Wichita leaders in Wichita’s artistic, social, political, and academic communities, as well as “ordinary” women who did extraordinary things. Although set in Wichita, its stories are the same in towns large and small across the country. Two actors play fictional characters and an ensemble creates dozens of women who share their real experiences. The premiere used nine actors in the ensemble for a full cast of 11, but the ensemble can comprise of fewer or more as needed.
approximately 11 women, minimalist set