The Fox Journal

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Actors portray the lives of women in science

By Allyssa Novak

Actress Lexi Graboski depicts Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, at the theatrical performance titled 'Portraits of Courage: Women in Science' in the union March 13.

photo by Tommy Yang
Actress Lexi Graboski depicts Margaret Sanger, founder of
Planned Parenthood, at the theatrical performance titled
Portraits of Courage: Women in Science
in the union March 13.

Theatre troupe Will & Company shared an educational presentation titled Portraits of Courage: Women in Science in the student union March 13.

The show was approximately 65 minutes long and was open to the public.

"I was very excited to hear the school was putting on an event focused on women in science," sophomore Emma Stanley said.

I thought that the two young women did a wonderful job."

Colin Cox is the writer and founder of the group. Established in 1988 in Los Angeles, he aimed for providing entertainment, as well as showing respect for a selection of major accomplishments in women's history.

"I thought it was very impressive that this small group of people would put a large amount of effort into sending such a powerful message in a more tasteful and subtle way," sophomore Dylan Zorteau said.

Actors Lexi Graboski and Amielynn Abellera portrayed the roles of five famous women, including Elizabeth Blackwell, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman, Chen-Shuing Wu and Helen Rodriguez.

Blackwell is known for being the first female physician in the United States. She was initially rejected by her peers and was not taken seriously. Eventually she was accepted into medical school and became a doctor.

Sanger was applauded for her efforts to help struggling women with all matters covered under Planned Parenthood. She made it her mission to aid those with life-threatening pregnancy problems, and to put a stop to violent, self-induced abortions.

Coleman achieved greatness by becoming the first ever African-American pilot. She completed schooling in France, which allowed her to gain an international pilot license in the United States.

"It's great to see that they didn't just focus on one particular culture to reflect on," Zorteau said.

"Too often in schools, especially in the elementary grade level, the focus is on Caucasian and American history alone."

Wu worked hard for her title as the first lady of physics. Her expertise aided in the development of the world's first atomic bomb.

"Truthfully, a lot of young adults and others in general aren't aware of the struggle many women had to endure to achieve their current status in today's world," Zorteau said.

Rodriguez was a popular public health activist that offered assistance to citizens of Puerto Rico to raise awareness about the wrongdoing of sterilization.

The last scene of the show was comprised of a clip of today's modern women.

"Even though I am not a female, this presentation had me thinking about the effects that society has on the younger generation," sophomore Joe Carlson said.

It is easy to see how much has changed throughout the decades by comparing the 1960s woman to the modern woman, for example how body image has transformed.

Cox's vision was to first tell the story of these famous women and then address the problem of social pressure, in hopes of creating a dramatic impression. Using the success of these women in history and motivating young women to look past the perfect body image was the underlying focus.

"It is important to reflect and be grateful for those who had the courage to make advances in our history," Carlson said.

"If it weren't for them, who knows what challenges we could still be facing."

For a full schedule of future theatre troupe events, please visit


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