The Fairmont State University department of communication and theatre arts is excited to announce a special presentation from Dr. Francene Kirk, the Abelina Suarez Professor of Communication and Theatre at Fairmont State University. The presentation titled, “9 Before IX”, an “informance,” will be presented live on Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m. in room 314 of Wallman Hall on the campus of Fairmont State. The show is free and open to the public, but patrons must reserve a ticket because seating is limited. Tickets can be obtained at the box office in Wallman Hall or by calling 304-367-4240.
Dr. Francene Kirk, the Abelina Suarez Professor of Communication and Theatre at Fairmont State has spent the last several years interviewing women about their lives. When asked for the inspiration for such a presentation, Dr. Kirk replied “A memory of something my mother said prompted this oral history project. She told me she didn’t have the options I had. I decided to interview women of my mother’s generation to see why they didn’t have options. I asked them what messages they got growing up about what it means to be a woman.” Dr. Kirk teaches storytelling at Fairmont State, so she decided to turn some of her conversations with these women into stories. Dr. Kirk defined her mother’s generation as women who were educated before Title IX was implemented. Title IX is part of the 1972 Education Acts. It states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Dr. Kirk selected this as a cutoff date because, “I think Title IX changed the way we talk to and about women. Before Title IX was implemented, women could be denied access to educational programs simply for being female.”
Dr. Kirk’s presentation will include stories that range from subjects as silly as learning to swear to subjects as serious as sexual harassment and spousal abuse. “Some of the stories are funny, and some are downright heartbreaking,” Dr. Kirk notes. As such, this performance contains adult themes, content, and language. It is not suitable for all audiences. The run time of the performance is approximately 75 minutes.
Dr. Kirk is the third Abelina Suarez Professor. The others are Dr. Judy Byers, and Ms. Connie Moore. A new Suarez Professor will be announced just days after Kirk’s performance. The professorship is endowed by Ms. Suarez’s family in honor of her work as a teacher in Harrison County Schools. “Abelina Suarez had a degree in chemistry, but she could not get a job as a chemist because of sexism. I think she would appreciate these women’s stories.” The program is supported by the Office of the Provost and the Fairmont State University Foundation.
The presentation will be presented live on Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, May 1 at 12:30 p.m. in room 314 of Wallman Hall on the campus of Fairmont State. The show is free and open to the public, but patrons must reserve a ticket because seating is limited. Tickets can be obtained at the box office in Wallman Hall or by calling 304-367-4240. For more information please contact Dr. Kirk at 304-367-4170 or Francene.Kirk@fairmontstate.edu.