The Mother of Us All | Stage Direction by R. B. Schlather | November 11, 12, 15, 18 & 19

The Mother of Us All | Stage Direction by R. B. Schlather | November 11, 12, 15, 18 & 19

The Mother of Us All (1947)
An opera by Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein

Stage Director                               R. B. Schlather

Music Director                              Tony Kieraldo
Set and Costume Designer           Marsha Ginsberg
Lighting Designer                         JAX Messenger
Dramaturg                                    Joan Retallack

Saturday, November 11, 4pm – SOLD OUT*
Sunday, November 12, 4pm – SOLD OUT*
Saturday, November 18, 4pm – SOLD OUT*
Sunday,  November 19, 4pm – SOLD OUT*
Tickets: $55 premium, $35 patron, $20 standing – all are general admission

Wednesday, November 15, 4pm – SOLD OUT*
Tickets: $45 premium, $25 patron, $15 standing – all are general admission

*If you are interested in joining us at the Proprietors Association membership level to access priority services for ticket requests to The Mother of Us All and other programs at Hudson Hall, please contact Development & Marketing Manager, Caroline Lee, on (518) 822 -1438.

To join the WAITLIST:
One hour prior to curtain, we will begin a waitlist. To join the waitlist, please come to the box office at Hudson Hall at 3pm to register. Waitlisters will be given a numbered card that will correspond to your number in the waitlist line. For example, the first person to join the waitlist will receive #1. Waitlisters can join the list with one guest (i.e. no more than two per person).

Waitlisters must then return to the box office 15 minutes before curtain, or by 3:45pm. As soon as we know if tickets have been released, we will begin to assign tickets to waitlisters in ascending order (1, 2, 3, etc…).

We will make every effort to be realistic about the number of seats that may become available and limit the waitlist accordingly.

Waitlisters will be seated at the discretion of management. Waitlisters may be seated late if the waitlist process extends past curtain time.

Thank you for your interest, and remember Friends of Hudson Hall receive advance notice and priority handling.

To mark the centenary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and the re-opening of New York State’s oldest surviving theater, Hudson Hall in partnership with The Millay Colony for the Arts commissioned a new production of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s rarely performed opera The Mother of Us All. Using real and imagined characters, The Mother of Us All is about Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement in America, which began in upstate New York.  Anthony spoke thrice on the very stage where this opera will be performed.

The young and visionary stage director R. B. Schlather reimagined this two-act opera as a musical theater pageant, performed by a vocal and instrumental ensemble of Hudson Valley residents, and stars the mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens in the lead role. His team of collaborators include the renowned Stein scholar and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor Emerita of Humanities at Bard College Joan Retallack. To accompany the performances of The Mother of Us All, we’re offering a series of pre- and post- performance gatherings including the “Not Talk Back Salon Series,” which invites the public to hear from creative thinkers, local historians and contemporary artists. Other highlights include a pop up canteen by local Hudson restaurant/installation/performance project, Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, and a mobile Experimental Reading Room where visitors and cast can immerse themselves in Stein’s world through the written and spoken word.

“His singers offer unafraid, impassioned performances that speak to Schlather’s ability to demolish the barriers of propriety and politeness that seem to plague much of traditional operatic experience.” – Opera Today

DOMINIC ARMSTRONG as Jo the Loiterer NGONDA BADILA as Isabel Wentworth TEA BORISS as Chris the Citizen AMANDA BOYD as Constance Fletcher TERESA BUCHHOLZ as Anne MATHEW DEMING as Anna Hope VERONICA FORMAN as Jenny Reefer CHRISTOPHER JOHNSTONE as Thaddeus Stevens PHIL KLINE as Andrew Johnson BRAD LOHRENZ as Anthony Comstock ELLA LOUDON as Indiana Elliot NANCY ALLEN LUNDY as Gertrude Stein MICHAELA MARTENS as Susan B MARIE MASCARI as Angel More MARC MOLOMOT as John Adams ROBERT OSBORNE as Daniel Webster KENT SMITH as Virgil Thomson LIBBY SOKOLOWSKI as Lillian Russell CHARLES SPRAWLS as Ulysses S. Grant RYAN TRACY as Herman Atlan WHEELOCK WHITNEY as Gloster Heming DYLAN WIDJIONO as Indiana Elliot’s brother ELENA BATT chorus KAM BELLAMY chorus ANNEICE COUSIN chorus MARGOT KIRSIS chorus MICHAEL O’GARA chorus PARKER SHIPP chorus JOHN VAN NESS PHILIP chorus STUART QUIMBY flute LOUIS BONIFATI clarinet CHRISTOPHER WATFORD bassoon STEPHANIE HOLLANDER French horn TODD DUBREY trumpet ALLYSON KEYSER trumpet MIKE BENEDICT percussion NUIKO WADDEN harp DAVID SYTKOWSKI piano coach and repetiteur DANIEL STERMER producing associate ALEBA GARTNER public relations MICHAEL HOFMANN assistant director LILY SCHEFF hair and makeup


*NTB refers to “Not Talk Back.”

FREE! – Friday, October 27, 2-5pm:
OPEN REHEARSAL Visit Hudson Hall for a glimpse into the making of The Mother of Us All. The doors will be open and all are welcome to sneak a quick peek or settle in for the afternoon to watch the cast and crew at work.

FREE! – Sunday, October 29, 4-6pm:
THE VOTE, THE VOTE, THE SPOOKY VOTE: The Mother of Us All cast their votes in the Hudson Halloween Costume Contest
In this beloved annual event, Hudson’s smallest spooky ghosts, ghoulish gremlins and princess fairies come out for trick or treating along Warren Street at 2pm, before gathering at 7th Street Park at 4pm for a parade down to the costume contest at Hudson Hall.

FREE! – Saturday, November 4, 4-5:30pm:
BOOK READING: Local Glories: Opera Houses on Main Street, Where Art and Community Meet by Ann Satterthwaite
Ann Satterthwaite is a city planner in Washington, DC. She is involved in environmental, cultural, and preservation planning to improve community liveability, civic engagement, and sustainability. In this discussion of her 2016 book, Satterthwaite highlights the important role 19th century opera houses played as centers of popular culture, community and politics.

FREE! – Wednesday, November 8, 4-6pm:
Full Rehearsal for Students with valid ID
Full-time students with a valid ID are invited to a full rehearsal on a first-come, first-served basis. Teachers may email to reserve a block of tickets for their students, and students may also reserve online at

FREE! – Thursday, November 9, 6-7:30pm:
*NTB – QUEER NARRATIVES: Joe Cermatori, Skidmore College Department of English, critic, dramaturg, and theater artist; Khary Septh, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief + James Powell, Arts + Culture Editor, of The Tenth Magazine
How do sexuality and ethnicity intersect in a world where identity is fluid? Join three leading minds for a lively discussion.

Saturday, November 11:

 4-6pm: THE MOTHER OF US ALL #1 (ticketed)

FREE! – 6-7:30pm: *NTB – OPERA SYSTEMS – THEN AND NOW: Christopher Alden (Glimmerglass Festival, 1998) + Michaela Martens + R. B. Schlather (Hudson Hall, 2017)
Director R. B. Schlather was just 12-years-old when he first fell in love with opera, seeing a production of The Mother of Us All at Glimmerglass Festival in 1998. Christopher Alden was the director of that production, and he joins R. B. and mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens for a look at mounting two productions of this rarely performed opera almost twenty years apart.

Sunday, November 12

4-6pm: THE MOTHER OF US ALL #2 (ticketed)

FREE! – 6-7:30pm: *NTB – LOCAL SUFFRAGE + ABOLITIONISM + GENDER EQUALITY: Local historian Carole Osterink + Lacy Schutz, Executive Director, Shaker Museum + Members of the Cast
The Gossips of Rivertown blogger and local historian Carole Osterink digs deep under the layers of Hudson’s colorful history to reveal how the past often plays a key role in the development of our city’s present and future. Together with the Executive Director of the Shaker Museum, Lacy Schutz, and members of the cast of The Mother of Us All, Osterink shares details of Hudson’s fascinating part to play in the story of women’s suffrage, abolitionism and gender equality.

Wednesday, November 15:

4-6pm: THE MOTHER OF US ALL #3 (ticketed)

FREE!– 6-7:30pm: NTB – GERTRUDE STEIN, SUSAN B, & HISTORY INTERRUPT ONE ANOTHER:  Joan Retallack, poet and Stein scholar; erica kaufman, poet and Bard professor. 

The Mother of Us All dramaturg Joan Retallack is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor Emerita of Humanities at Bard College and a leading Stein scholar. Retallack and her Stein/Susan B-savvy colleague erica kaufman will performatively explore both humor and gravitas in the chronic American crisis of democracy as it manifests in the language of poet-librettist (G.S.), abolitionist & suffragist (S.B.A.)—enlivening their (our) merging as audience and citizens of a world where the arts continue to present many strange things we need to consider.

Saturday, November 18

4-6pm: THE MOTHER OF US ALL #4 (ticketed)

FREE! – 6-7:30pm: NTB – BLACK DADA: A Conversation with Adam Pendleton
Adam Pendleton is a rising star in the art world whose work has been included in the Venice Biennale and acquired by the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the Tate Modern. Based in Germantown, New York, Pendleton has recently released his new book, “Black Dada Reader.” Black Dada—Pendleton’s term for a broad conceptualization of blackness—is the animating force of his work in painting, video, sculpture, and performance.

Sunday, November 19

4-6pm: THE MOTHER OF US ALL #5 (ticketed)

6-9pm: THE MOTHER OF ALL TOWN BALLS: DJ FULATHELA + SPECIAL GUESTS ($10 cover charge + cash bar)
Come celebrate the closing night of The Mother of Us All with the mother of all dance-offs in Hudson Hall’s historic 1855 theater with Hudson’s favorite spinner, DJ Fulathela and special guests to be announced.


Hudson Hall is presenting this in partnership with The Millay Colony for the Arts. 

The Mother of Us All is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  




Additional support provided by the Asbjorn Lunde Foundation, Humanities New York,The Merchant and Ivory Foundation, Puffin West Foundation, FACE Stockholm, contributions by members of the Philip family in memory of Julia Willis Philip, and the generous support of individual donors.

By arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.

Photo: Matthew Placek