Pierce Performance Series

PLEASE NOTE: The Pierce Performance Series has been postponed due to the pandemic.
Check back shortly for the updated performance date.

The Pierce Performance Series seeks to raise the visibility of the Boston Public Library’s Special Collections through free public performances and lectures. Thanks to the generosity of the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust our second annual performance will celebrate women's suffrage.



The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. The 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote, was finally passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920. To mark the upcoming 100th anniversary of this historic event, the Associates of the Boston Public Library commissioned a play celebrating many of the advocates who brought about this radical change.

Pierce Performance
Please join us for the world premiere of ONWARD – Votes for Women, a documentary play created by Lisa Rafferty, with music arranged and composed by Adam R. McDonald. The production offers the powerful and inspiring voices and perspectives of the extraordinary women who fought for seventy years for equality. Over twenty historical characters from the movement, along with women leaders from our time, will be portrayed by an ensemble of ten.

The cast, featuring many renowned members of the Boston arts community, will play multiple roles, including: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul, Mary Church Terrell, Louisa May Alcott, Shirley Chisholm, Betty Ford, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem. The script was created using language verbatim from documents in the Boston Public Library's Special Collections, and other speeches, letters, articles and interviews from a variety of sources. Suffrage music and songs will be interspersed throughout the production, along with an original score.

Join us at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Thursday, March 19th for ONWARD - Votes for Women.
Doors to Rabb Hall open at 6 PM and the performance starts at 6:30 PM. Registration is required for this free performance via Eventbrite.
Tickets will be available starting February 19th.


Past Pierce Performances