Funded through a grant from the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Arts awarded by the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, Royal and Joanne collaborated over the course of six months to write a play based on true events in the lives of two women, Anna Marie Resseguie and Phillis DuBois who lived in and ran the Resseguie Hotel (now the Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center) in Ridgefield Connecticut, before during and after the Civil War. Having never met, other than online, the two playwrights collaborated via Skype and writing scenes back and forth to discuss (through the characters) what it might be like for each of them to live in those times and how some things have not much changed.
The play deals with issues of ownership and the economics of being a woman as well as a free woman of color in a system of slavery. Two versions of the original play were written and performed in staged readings in both Ridgefield CT and Lynchburg VA, in September and November of 2017, after which a guided discussion on race and privilege in America took place. A developmental workshop production took place at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center for students of Ridgefield Public Schools as well as a public audience, with support from The Ridgefield Library on Wednesday, May 23rd with the following cast: Alana Arco Peck, Tracey McAllister and Kevin Knight. Stage Management by Monet Fleming, Choreography by Leighann Kowalski and Directed by Joanne Hudson.