This was the first project I did with techno-wizard Joel Hurd and we won a couple of nice awards for this 30 minute documentary about a woman from the North Country, daughter of poor Irish immigrants, who became a powerful voice for working women in the 1880’s. “Sister Barry” traveled around America as the General Investigator for Women and Children for the Knights of Labor. She spoke out against the dangerous and unfair conditions she found in mills, factories and mines and she was a source of hope to many.
Reader after reader tromped into Joel’s studio to record their parts for the audio of this nineteenth century novel, a coming of age story set in the North Country. And then Joel had to put all the pieces together! I love the voices in this production and the story is still fresh to me.
One-room schoolhouses fascinate many of us. I wasn’t sure if I’d find enough material for this story but on my first day of research in the St. Lawrence University Special Collections I found a journal written by a teen girl during her first year of teaching in a one-room schoolhouse near Gouverneur, NY. What a gift! Her voice carried the production along.
New York State was the center of the womens’ rights movement in the nineteenth century and even the remotest parts of the state—the Adirondacks and the St. Lawrence Valley—saw several visits from the indefatigable Susan B. Anthony. I enjoyed tracing the change in opinion in the press as Miss Anthony went from being an oddity to a revered figure of an important cause.