Press Release: State of the Arts Productions Presents: Caroline, or Change

January 20, 2015

For Immediate Release

State of the Arts Productions Presents: Caroline, or Change

Columbus-Based Production Company Tackles Civil Rights-Era Story


State of the Arts Productions presents the groundbreaking musical Caroline, or Change. A provocative story of political change, social change and pocket change. Set in one of the most dramatic times in America’s history the TONY-nominated Caroline, Or Change tackles tough social issues that still resonate today.

COLUMBUS, OH — State of the Arts Productions (SoArtsPro) kicks off the 2015 creative season with the musical Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and Jeanine Tesori (Shrek the Musical).  Performance dates will run from February 27 – March 1.
Taking on the complexities of race; embraces the climate of the time; and telling a story of redemption, the musical is set in Louisiana during the fall of 1963 when the nation, already dealing with the civil rights movement, was rocked by the death of a president. Amid such turbulent times, Caroline provides stability for both her own restless daughter and the Jewish family that employees her.

“This story is timeless and relevant, with regards to the present climate in the United States,” said Gwen Edwards, SoArtsPro Executive Director.  “Caroline is a character who, in her own way, was able to conquer giant social issues of her day.  To many, she is relatable.  To most, she is a heroine.”

Caroline, or Change has collected nearly every award attainable for a theatrical production: the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress (along with six nominations including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Score, and Best Director), Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead and Featured Actress, and Outstanding Choreography. The show captured two Obie Awards for Outstanding Performance and Special Citations for Kushner and Tesori, and in 2007 it won the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Caroline, or Change is directed by Jack Peterson with musical direction by Kimberly English Cole and features the debut of Talmarita Kenner as Caroline. Caroline, or Change is a dynamic work which has the power to change the way audiences think about musical theatre.

For more information about show dates, tickets and location, please visit:, or call: (614) 266-4562.

Dates: February 27 – March 1, 2015
Time: Friday & Saturday 8:00pm  Sunday 2:00 pm

Location: Columbus Performing Arts Center’s Shedd Theatre, 549 Franklin Ave. Columbus, OH 43215


Tickets are available now for $18.

Purchase three ways:
By phone: 614-266-4562
Mail-in order form: Available online

About SoArtsPro

State of The Arts Productions (SoArtsPro), started as a dream in the mind of the Artistic Director Quentin Edwards. With the help of a select board of directors including current Broadway performers and community members SoArtsPro will bring a different breed of theater to the Columbus area.  Our seasons will be diverse and different; including the classics and contemporary Broadway musical fare.  SoArtsPro believes that theatre can and should be for everyone.

Early Black Feminist Thought


Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964)

One of the most prominent black scholars in American history, Cooper was the fourth African American woman to earn a PhD when she graduated from University of Paris-Sorbonne in 1924. Having been born in slavery in Raleigh, N.C., Cooper used both her lived experience with racism and her scholastic ability to pen her first book in 1892, A Voice from the South: By a Woman from the South. The book, in which Cooper argued for the self-determination of black women, is considered the first volume of black feminist thought in the U.S.

Via Ms. blog

Taking Care: Women in Medicine

Susan Maria Smith McKinney Steward: “Born in Brooklyn, New York, Susan Maria Smith was the first black woman to graduate from medical college in New York state and the 3rd in the nation. After graduating as valedictorian from the New York Medical College for Women, she attended the Long Island Medical College Hospital, where she was the only woman in the entire college.

Married in 1874 to the Rev. William G. McKinney, she practiced as Dr. Susan Smith McKinney until his death in 1896.

Smith McKinney was a co-founder, in 1881, of the Women’s Hospital & Dispensary in Brooklyn, which later became the Memorial Hospital for Women and Children. She served on the staff of the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women in Manhattan, and from 1892 to 1896 was manager of the medical staff of the Brooklyn Home for Aged Colored People. She also served as church organist and choir director for Brooklyn’s Bridge Street Church.

In 1896, she married Chaplain Theophilus Gould Steward and became resident physician at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

In 1911 she addressed an interracial congress in London on “Colored Women in America.” She read a paper on “Women in Medicine” before the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs at Wilberforce, Ohio, in 1914. This paper includes a list of black women who pioneered in medicine.

In 1975, the Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Junior High School in Brooklyn was named to commemorate her accomplishments.”

Source: AETNA