Vibrant, funny, and inspirational, 24WORDS is an original musical about a 300-year odyssey to achieve Equality. 24WORDS refers to the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA): “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
The ERA was passed by Congress 1972 — and in 2019 the last state of the 38 states required to ratify the ERA voted for ratification. This fate of the Equal Rights now rests with Congress, which must remove the deadline for ratification. So, as of today, women do not have a Constitutional right against discrimination.
24WORDS is an original 100-minute musical about the odyssey to achieve Women’s Equality – from 1640 to March 22, 1972: when women were almost equal, pot was almost legal and “contraceptives could be sold to unmarried people.” The story presents six eras in Equal Rights history:
1600s – The origins of the modern Women’s Rights movement.
Late 1700s - The Revolutionary War; the Constitutional Convention and the Bill of Rights.
Mid-1800s - Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention; Civil War; 13th Amendment; Abolition of Slavery.
Early 1900s - The Suffragette Movement; the Roaring Twenties; Equal Rights Amendment proposed in 1923.
40s & 50s - World War II; Rock-and-Roll; Middle Class.
1960s - Counterculture; Vietnam; Civil Rights Movement.
1971 & 72 - 18-year-old’s get the right to vote; Gay Liberation; Stonewall Riots; ERA passes Congress – women are almost equal, pot is almost equal and “contraceptives can be sold to unmarried people.”
Diverse Cast and Amazing Soundtrack:
A diverse cast of 6 and live band of 3 or more, perform 22 original songs based on popular musical styles from the 170os to the 1970s: Classical, Ragtime, Swing, Folk, Country, Soul, R&B, Tango, Power-Pop, Garage, and Glam.
For the audience, 24WORDS is filled with revelations, historic information — with an uplifting message about how equality can be achieved.
The Creative Team:
24WORDS is an independent production from LingoStudio.
Charles Kouri, a Chicago playwright, is the writer and lyricist.
Gary Bragg, a Denver-area artist, composed the music.
Additional songs provided by Dean Schlabowske.
The musical was developed in the Chicago Women’s Theater Alliance Off-The-Back- Burner program, which culminated in a staged reading.
In 2015, readings were held in Chicago and Denver.
In 2016, 24WORDS was performed in Chicago.
In 2017, 24WORDS was performed in Chicago, including a performance at Steppenwolf Theater as part of their LookOut Series. The show was also performed at events for the Women’s Equality Day Rally in Washington D.C.