AmySimon

Amy Simon is a mother, actress, playwright, improviser, published writer, producer, and self-proclaimed Cultural Herstorian. She has been acting in and producing theater for most of her adult life. Her first play Cheerios In My Underwear (And Other True Tales Of Motherhood) holds the record as the longest running solo show in Los Angeles. SHE’S HISTORY! plays in theaters, schools, libraries, military bases, museums, for conferences, women’s groups, fundraisers, political and social justice organizations and retirement communities. SHE”S HISTORY! is fiscally sponsored by the Women’s Museum of California (http://www.womensmuseumca.org/). Always interested in hearing and presenting what women have to say, Amy directed, co-produced and performed in Los Angeles with GAL-O-RAMA and OVARYACTION at The Improv, The Laugh Factory and The Upfront Comedy Theatre. As the creative force and co-producer behind HEROINE ADDICTS, the four-year hit all-girl variety show, Amy worked with and was inspired by many of the most talented female writer/performers in Los Angeles (including Jane Lynch) at Hollywood’s bang Studio. She created and produced Motherhood Unplugged and Moms Who Write, a mom written and performed story and music salon and stage show (to benefit Beyond Shelter) with LA Parent Magazine and Mamapalooza (Moms In The Arts). It inaugurated and is featured on Los Angeles’s KPFK Radio’s Pacifica Performance Showcase. Working as a consultant on the 2008 launch of the Broad Stage Theater in Santa Monica, Amy performed a variety of duties, including stage-managing the thirteen member cast of American Voices: Spirit of the Revolution, Stephanie Glass Solomon’s original play based on The Federalist Papers, directed by and starring Dustin Hoffman, a truly wonderful man, whom she assisted. As the cast understudy she actually got to play Abigail Adams going in for Annette Bening in dress rehearsal. A frequent guest on local and national radio, Amy was a guest commentator for American Woman In Fact And Fiction, a three part series that aired on Pacifica Radio Archives FromTheVault.org series. She is also a regular guest on the Nicole Sandler Show Radioornot.com. Amy plays California Pioneer Maude Younger in California Women Win The Vote, the documentary/film produced by Wild West Women, Inc. (www.wildwestwomen.org). Her work in the classroom, as an educational specialist teaching improvisation and theater games inspired her to create a curriculum related interactive presentation of SHE’S HISTORY! for Middle School. As a “Herstorical” humorist, Amy writes, blogs, performs and entertains on the radio, online, and onstage furthering her mission to turn the world on to all the fabulous females no one knows anything about. She is a single mother of two glorious and "challenging" teenage daughters who can tell you all about the first woman to run for President.

Feb 242010
 

“We do not mean to discourse with those of your sex”

ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON (1591-1643)

Mother Of The First Amendment

ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON (1591-1643) Nurse, Midwife, Pioneer, Mother – of twelve or fifteen with nine or eleven surviving – (sources differ)

was not your average, quiet, submissive housewife and mother of the Colonial period. The daughter of a minister and Cambridge scholar, the family, and others, followed the preaching of John Cotton, a Protestant minister. They had issues with the Catholic Church, corruption being one, and disillusioned, embraced a new kind of “puritanical” religion. When she shared her dissenting views on religion with other people – specifically female people – she inadvertently inspired one of the most important conflicts of the entire seventeenth century – known as the Antinomian Controversy. Preaching – just to women – was a big no-no. It started out innocently enough.  She went to church and afterwards, she liked discussing the sermons.  Everyone did.  Thing was, the women were excluded from “certain meetings of religious discourse”. Being excluded from “certain meetings of religious discourse” that only the MEN could attend, Anne felt left out.  Who wouldn’t?  So she started what could be called the first “Girl’s Night Out” with weekly women only meetings.  No one minded at first, but then she got a little carried away, starting her OWN religious sect and got into a LOT of trouble.  She certainly endured one of the most famous (and god-awful – pun intended) trials in American history. She was convicted of heresy (an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teachings) and sedition (actions or words intended to provoke or incite rebellion against government authority) and banished!  From the colony!  To Rhode Island!  Like Ralph Kramden’s Alice, Anne Hutchinson had a BIIIIIG mouth.  Her steadfast desire for freedom of speech and freedom to assemble absolutely contributed to the foundation for The First Amendment..

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Feb 242010
 

Seneca Falls Convention - 1848

Waterloo, New York – A sleepy little suburb in upstate New York where timing, geography and a tea party brought a bunch of ovary acting mamas together to make history. Hostess Jane Hunt, MaryAnn McClintock, Martha Coffin Wright – sister of the visiting Lucretia Mott – considered the Mother of the women’s movement – whose impending visit served as the catalyst for the fateful tea party. Also attending – another key mama – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived nearby in dusty secluded Seneca Falls.  Stanton and Mott had met in 1840 when they were booted out of the world antislavery meeting in London to which Mott was invited.  Why the boot?  Those darned ovaries!  Banished in sisterhood, they walked around London “arm in arm” as Stanton told it, bemoaning their banishment and vowing to form their very own movement. Which they did.   Eight years later at that tea party.  Stanton’s impassioned speech confessing to being worn out by domestic drudgery, exhausted from mothering and nursing three little boys through bouts of malaria and suffering from what she called mental hunger, struck a collective chord and a meeting was planned. Her desire not to schlep her three little boys inspired the Seneca Falls locale.  So like any smart and tired mama, Stanton had them come to her. A sign was posted in the local paper; “Women’s Right’s Convention – A convention to discuss the social, civil and religious condition and rights of woman will be held….in the Wesleyan Church in Seneca Falls.” Modeled on The Declaration of Independence, and like the founding fathers eighteen grievances against King George, THE DECLARATION OF SENTIMENTS – with its eighteen grievances starting with “all men AND WOMEN are created equal – was born.

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Feb 242010
 

Bella Abzug 1920 – 1998

Big mouthed funny hat wearing New Yorker who grew up working in her family’s store – “The Live and Let Live Meat Market”.  Ran for congress at the age of fifty with the campaign slogan: “A Woman’s Place IS In The House”.  She meant The House of Representatives. Ever hear of the Pentagon Papers?  They were “secret” documents about the Vietnam War and SHE got Nixon’s administration to give ‘em up. She was rejected by Harvard Law School on account of her having a pair of ovaries (an annoying and recurring theme in women’s history), Lotsa firsts – including being the first member of congress asking for Nixon’s impeachment, being the first Jewish woman elected to Congress, and she presented the first bill trying to get equal rights for homosexuals. Wonder what she’d say today about Prop 8.  Probably a lot and in a loud voice. She ran for President in 1972 along with Shirley Chisholm, and Patsy Mink. She said (among many many other things) “I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee”.

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