Barbara Callander is a professional actor and historian who has toured plays and other programs about women’s history for over 25 years. Her particular interest and expertise is the early women’s rights movement and the long campaign to win the vote for women in the United States.
A graduate of Oberlin College – which in 1835 became the first co-educational college in the country – she has appeared in theatres nationwide. She has also worked extensively as an arts administrator, including several years with the National Endowment for the Arts, and has taught classes and workshops for arts organizations. In 1995, she organized a multicultural festival for the Seattle celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (which granted the vote to women nationwide), for which she received a “Write Women Back Into History Award” from the National Women’s History Project.
Ms. Callander has created and toured a number of plays about women’s history with actress/playwright Toni Douglass, including:
- May’s Vote, about the two women who led the Washington State campaign that won the vote in 1910, a decade before women won the vote nationwide.
- Missed Liberties, about the 50-year partnership of suffrage pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
- Winners – a montage of women trailblazers, “extremists” who helped to make today possible.
- Daisy with Asters, about Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low (commissioned for the Scouts’ 90th Anniversary).
- Scott Free (for adults) and Remembering Jenny (for children), written in honor of the centennial of the 1912 suffrage victory in Oregon.
Ms. Callander has also presented solo shows for a variety of groups nationwide. She recently appeared at the Grand Opening of “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” a new exhibit at the National Archives in Washington, DC. She is currently working with a number of organizations across the country on plans for celebrations related to the upcoming 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment.