Avant Bard Theatre to bring Victoria Woodhull to the Arlington County Fair

The ghost of the first woman to run for U.S. president will be performed live by DC actor Sara Barker on August 18 and 20.

Avant Bard Theatre will bring Victoria Woodhull — the first woman to run for U.S. president — to the Arlington County Fair on August 18 and 20 via a bit of theater, a podcast, and a musician-songwriter. Avant Bard Producing Partner Sara Barker is thrilled to share an award-winning podcast about Woodhull, A Simple Herstoryproduced by her friend and colleague NYC actor/creator Jocelyn Kuritsky. Additionally, Barker’s fellow performing arts Arlingtonian Sarah Fridrich, with whom Barker has collaborated in the past, will join to both underscore the performance and open and close it with a few of her original compositions.

Victoria Woodhull and Sara Barker

So, how do you bring a podcast to the fair? According to Barker, “There’s a certain amount of tailoring that has to happen. We knew better than to think we could invite a bunch of folks to sit back at the fair and listen to 45 minutes of a podcast with all the fair distractions around.” Instead, Barker herself will be performing live as the ghost of Victoria Woodhull, who in 1872 ran for U.S. president, nearly 50 years before Congress passed the 19th Amendment. “We actually will play snippets of the podcast as Jocelyn Kuritsky and I talk about this woman’s life.” Working with local sound designer Delaney Bray, Barker and Kuritsky selected minute-long snippets of the podcast to play intermittently through the performance to give the audience a taste of the podcast. They will also have a QR code and free earbuds available to anyone who would like to listen along on a more intimate level.

“My family are Arlingtonians and long-time Arlington County Fair participants,” says Barker, “my spouse once won a blue ribbon for his apple pie, and my kids have won multiple awards for their artwork. This year, I thought, hmm, why not get Avant Bard to participate! Though we’ve been an Arlington institution for over 30 years, we’ve never participated in the fair. Like all theaters right now, we’re really fighting to get our audience back, so why not see if we can find some of them at the fair!”

Barker hit upon the idea of bringing A Simple Herstory to the fair after Kuritsky told her about the Telly-award-winning immersive installation of the podcast in the Merchant’s House Museum in New York City (a partnership with Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Quills Fest). “Their success proved that this podcast can live and breathe with an audience being in a single physical space, and I was thrilled to collaborate with Jocelyn to make it happen again — at the fair!”

(Season 1 of A Simple Herstory is a production of  Kuritsky’s The Muse Project and the Obie-winning theater company The Tank.)

Arlington County Fair
Entertainment Stage
3501 2nd St S, Arlington, VA

The Arlington County Fair is one of the largest FREE events on the East Coast. Visit the live entertainment stage on the tennis courts Friday, August 18, 2023, 2:00-2:45 p.m. and Sunday, August 20, 8:15-9:00 p.m. to get a taste of the award-winning theatrical history podcast A Simple Herstory, presented by Arlington’s Avant Bard Theatre and A Simple Herstory, LLC. Beloved Arlington musician-songwriter Sarah Fridrich will be there to give the event a rollicking intro and outro. Be there for your chance to meet the ghost of Victoria Woodhull (presented by podcast creator Jocelyn Kuritsky and embodied by DC-area actor Sara Barker onstage).

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