The Agitators
by Mat Smart I Directed by Debra Ann Byrd
sponsored by Maine Community Foundation

Brimming with urgency and relevance, The Agitators examines the friendship and rivalry between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. It’s 1849 and two young activists steel themselves for the battles to come. Over the next 45 years, they journey from allies to adversaries and back. Theirs is a story of defiance, of rebellion, of revolution. They agitated the nation. They agitated each other. They changed the course of history.

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Saturday, July 3, 7:30 p.m. (Opening)
Saturday, July 17, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. (*Winery Wednesdays)
Sunday, July 25, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 1, 1:00 p.m. (Outside Cumston Hall)
Friday, August 6, 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 11, 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 17, 1:00 p.m.
Friday, August 20, 7:30 p.m.

* Winery Wednesdays will take place outside at WillowsAwake at 10 Leeds Junction Rd, Leeds, ME 04263

Want to find out more about TAM’s production of the The Agitators? View the Pre-Show Discussion video on our YouTube channel to get an inside look at the making and importance of The Agitators by Mat Smart. Watch now!

Production Team

Debra Ann Byrd
Nadir Bey
Set Designer
Ty Bolduc
Asst. Stage Manager
Jo Davita
Stage Manager
Michelle Handley
Costume Designer
Aja Jackson
Lighting Designer

Emma Kielty
Props Master

Rew Tippin
Sound Designer
Dathan Williams
Assistant Director/


Nathan M. Ramsey
Frederick Douglass

Casey Turner
Susan B. Anthony

Time: 1849 – 1895

Setting: Several

This play has several settings as the lives and the missions of the people it portrays are hardly ever stagnant, but rather are, ever moving, ever evolving, ever growing and ever shifting as they work to change and influence their community, their state, their country and even the world.

Back in their time, no one could have imagined that Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass would ever become friends. The former slave and the outspoken woman came from two different worlds. But they shared deep-seated beliefs in equality and the need to fight for it. Despite naysayers, hecklers, arsonists, and even their own disagreements, Susan and Frederick remained fast friends and worked together to change America.

Writers differ upon the level of friendship between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Antony, who over the years, when they found it expedient, did not hesitate to disassociate themselves from each other. Despite that, it is clear that the missions of Douglass and Anthony overlapped. He championed women’s rights; she fought against slavery. The common enemy they shared was the struggle for acceptance into American Society. 

This production of The Agitators sets Douglas and Anthony on a 45-year journey, in which the bonds of their friendship will constantly be tested, strengthened and even challenged, as the two press forward, never taking their eyes off the prize; freedom, equality and the right to vote.

In it you will see Frederick as mentor, Susan as eager student, who quickly learns to master her craft; later reaching back to encourage and remind her mentor of all that he taught her about adding just enough tension, just enough activism and gentle confrontation to disturb the air around issues of race and gender.

It is my hope that this production of The Agitators will encourage conversation. Particularly the kind that promotes understanding and continues to bind us together and motivates us to search for new ways to bring about positive change for our country and our world. We are hoping to inspire The Agitator in you!