Margaret Sanger 1940

Margaret Sanger 1916

Margaret Sanger 1916

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Elizabeth Cady Stanton - Late 19th Century

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Late 19th Century





You’re in for a treat! When you are planning a celebration for Women’s History Month, or contemplating other ways to honor the important work of women, I urge you to consider inviting Miriam Reed to perform. She offers several different dramatic presentations, and we asked her to do “Radiant Rebel” — featuring her interpretation of the life and work of Margaret Sanger. This was wonderful ! Students told me they had no idea of all that Sanger went through to achieve her goals (even though we had read about this in class). The in-character portrayal did more than the essays to convey that sense of really understanding the life and work of this important American figure.

Students also appreciated the attention to historical detail in Miriam Reed’s portrayal and her personal warmth outside the performance as well. I highly recommend this performance for any women’s studies/gender studies program. You might consider a collaboration with a school of nursing or medical school if you decide on “Radiant Rebel.” These students would certainly profit from understanding the historical difficulties faced by medical professionals in earlier years. Reed’s performance is history brought to life in a powerful way!
– Rosemary F. Powers, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies

Radiant Rebel: Miriam Reed did an outstanding job on her performance of Margaret Sanger. I honestly did not know too much about Margaret Sanger and after watching the performance I have a whole new respect for her. I valued all the small details that Reed acted out. From the dress, to the way she sat and talked, to the kind of argument that she used. She brought the audience back into time. She picked me up and brought me to the court room with her, to hear her plea. I felt that I was part of the performance. I know that I had a completely different view and understood her tactics more than the judge and jury would have back then, but I still felt as if I was there with her. Reed’s movements really caught my eye. She made it a point that when she sat on the desk or even in a chair that she raised her legs to be outstretched in front of her…. I liked that she did that because it brought my way of thinking back to those times as well. The nylons put me in that state of mind tool. In today’s society you rarely, if ever, see a women [sic] sit like they way that she did. Though I am sure that it is safe to say that we have all seen movies from years ago and have seen women talk on the phone and to others and sit just like that Reed’s performance was detailed and precise. It made me a bit sad to sit and listen to everything that Margaret Sanger had to go through. In the big picture, all she was doing was trying to make life a little more enjoyable for women. But in doing this she was to bring change into the lives of everyone. She was going to give woman a voice. I believe that this was one of the most significant reasons that it scared many people. Women had never been given the opportunity to have a choice in reproduction, and the sad fact is that women were having too many children and harming themselves in the process. Sanger gave these women a safer life. Sanger has been ridiculed for the progress that she made, but after learning more about her, I believe that we should rejoice her.
-Oregon Eastern University Student

Dear Dr. Reed:
On behalf of the planning committee, I would like to thank you for performance of “Margaret Sanger: Radiant Rebel” during the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals’ (ARHP) annual meeting, Reproductive Healtah 2000. Your presentation was certainly the highlight of our networking reception. The meeting participants, many of who work at Planned Parenthood clinics around the nation, were delighted to see the history of their work come to life on stage. Thank you again for participating so effectively at our annual meeting. You played a major role in Making it an outstanding event.
– Amy M. Swann, Director of Education, ARHP

Dear Friends:
We have been very pleased for the opportunity to hold several wonderful events for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington donors and volunteers featuring Miriam Reed’s one-woman play “Margaret Sanger: Radiant Rebel.” Ms. Reed’s portrayal of Margaret Sanger is engaging and inspiring. She gives an excellent sense of the early struggles and issues that led Margaret Sanger to take up the cause of reproductive freedom and access to birth control. This historically accurate play gives audiences an excellent understanding of both the period as well as the brilliance and compassion of Margaret Sanger. And gives historical meaning to the work we do today. I encourage other organizations and universities to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity to learn more about Margaret Sanger.
– Jatrice Martel Gaiter, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC, Inc.

WILKES UNIVERSITY, Office of the President
Dear Ms. Reed:
Reflecting upon your interpretive presentation of Margaret Sanger at our University last year, I continue to be moved by your gripping portrayal of a courageous and determined woman. Your presentation blended the facets of entertaining theatre with historically accurate education to paint a picture of Margaret Sanger and her times. You have made the challenges of her life tremendously vivid. You have also marked the distance we have come on women’s rights and show the similarity of the struggle that so many ambitious women still must go through when breaking new ground. Your great acting of the Margaret Sanger role highlights her significant accomplishments and contributions to our century.
– Christopher N. Breiseth, Past President, Wilkes University

Dear Miriam:
I continue to hear from students, faculty, and staff how much they enjoyed your performance, and how much it made them think. As you know, the Women’s Studies Committee was delighted (overwhelmed, even!) with the audience of about 100 people. Your performance of Margaret Sanger: Radiant Rebel was among the most successful events we have had in recent years. We are especially grateful to you for your two classroom appearances during your two days with us. Thursday, October 5 must have been a very long day for you, but you touched many, many people who will long remember you and your message. On a personal note, I found your description (in your role as Margaret Sanger) of why you advocate knowledge and accessto birth control compelling and extremely moving. As you know, access to birth control and to abortion in Nebraska is an ongoing battle.
– Karen Falconer Al-Hindi, Interim Director Women’s Studies, UNO