Lee returns as ‘Mother Jones’

Apr 07, 2014
Kaiulani Lee celebrates Mother Jones in her latest one-woman play.

Unity — Obie Award-winning Kaiulani Lee, best known in Maine for her one-woman play "A Sense of Wonder," will present "Can't Scare Me … The Story of Mother Jones" Thursday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, 42 Depot St. Tickets are $10 in advance, $25 at the door.

"Can't Scare Me … The Story of Mother Jones" is a play drawn from Mother Jones' autobiography, letters, speeches, interviews and transcripts. Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was a voice we were never supposed to hear: she was old in a society fixated on youth; a woman in a society that honored men; poor in a society that revered wealth; and an immigrant in a society that looked askance at those not native-born. One of the earliest female organizers, she worked tirelessly for 50 years, educating, agitating and organizing for the rights of workers and their families. She faced down guns and militias, was imprisoned time and again and spent months at a time in solitary confinement.

Mother Jones was known as the Miners' Angel, the protector of children, and was denounced in the U.S. Senate as the most dangerous woman in America. She is remembered for her unflinching courage and her clarion voice that spoke to working people of their human rights and dignity.

Lee has more than 35 years of experience in theater, film and television. She has starred in more than a dozen plays on and Off- Broadway. She has been nominated for the Drama Desk Award on Broadway and has won the Obie Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Achievement. Lee has guest starred in numerous television series from "The Walton's" to "Law & Order." Her film work began with "The World According to Garp" and has continued through "A Civil Action" and "A Bird of the Air." She portrayed Martha Ballard in the critically-acclaimed PBS film "A Midwife's Tale."

For the past 22 years, Lee has been performing "A Sense of Wonder," based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. The play has been the centerpiece of regional and national conferences on conservation, education, journalism and the environment. She has performed it at more than 100 universities, dozens of high schools, the Smithsonian Institute, the Albert Schweitzer Conference at the United Nations, at the Department of Interior's 150th anniversary and, in 2007, on Capitol Hill, bringing Carson's voice once again to the halls of Congress. "Can't Scare Me … The Story of Mother Jones," which opened in 2011 at the Atlas Theater in Washington, D.C., is Lee's second play. She tours both plays nationally and internationally.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit uccpa.unity.edu or call 509-7132.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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