Sponsor spotlight: ‘Carried by the Current’ tells story of women’s empowerment


Sometimes we need to look back to see the way forward. Women’s Work Productions, a nonprofit theatre production company, is dedicated to performing unknown stories from our history that are rich and colorful. Stories of human courage in the face of adversity, of visionaries ahead of their time and of paths pioneered through the complex weave of life that have enabled us, today, to make our way more easily. Often these stories have remained hidden because the characters in them are minorities. We believe it is time to give these stories a stage.

Our inaugural production, currently performing at the PUD Theatre, 2320 California Street, Everett, is Carried by the Current, an award-winning play by local playwright Nicola Pearson. Carried by the Current is based on the true story of The Women’s Commonwealth, a group of women from a small town in Texas who created the first safe house for women back in 1870.


The safe house with art by Desirae Moore to suggest how the women blossomed and grew under its roof.

Led by Martha McWhirter, the women– all from wealthy white families — professed “sanctification” as a way to stop sleeping with their husbands and to stop taking their money. They sold eggs, butter and cheese, chopped firewood and did laundry to raise money for their common fund.

The women gather to discuss their financial worries. L-R: Germaine Kornegay, Annie Murray, Sarah Moore and Carolyn Travis.

But this menial work done by wives of the town’s most respected businessmen provoked hostility.

The men don’t like the work the women are doing. L-R: Dustin Moore and Troy Coleman.

Tempers flared, the abuse became more open and the women moved in together to keep themselves safe. From there, The Women’s Commonwealth became so successful in business, they challenged an entire community to question women’s role in society.

The women on the porch of the Central Hotel, which they designed, built and ran in the 1890s.

Performances of the play continue this weekend at the PUD Theatre, 2320 California St., Everett. Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available here.

Our first review says,

“Thank you for an enlightening play on International Women’s Rights Day! You have chosen a terrific cast. What an important story of women’s empowerment you have put on stage. The story of the women in Belton, Texas, is staying with me. You are inspiring today’s women with a story of those who came before us. This play rocks!”

Which is high praise for Women’s Work Productions but also high praise for the women who lived the story. Praise they definitely deserve.

Women’s Work Productions is also looking for new scripts of untold stories from our history for our next production. If you think you have one, please feel free to message nicola@womensworkproductions.com or dustin@womensworkproductions.com. We are excited to read new work.


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