Metro Theater Debuts STL 'Secret Society' of Inspiring Women in Conjunction with New Production, 'Afflicted: Daughters of Salem'

 In Culture

On Friday, March 6, Metro Theater’s newest production, “Afflicted: Daughters of Salem,” opens at the Missouri History Museum—and throughout the play’s three-week run from March 6-22, nine inspiring STL leaders will be inducted into a “Secret Society of Inspiring Women” to spotlight role models in the community. ALIVE partnered with Metro Theater to find out more about the initiative.

"Afflicted" image courtesy of Metro Theater Company

“Afflicted” image courtesy of Metro Theater Company

The “daughters of Salem” the play depicts are the teenage girls who catalyzed the infamous 17th-century Salem witch trials that saw some 20 people, mostly women, executed. Playwright Laurie Brooks imagines the girls’ lives as full of potential but, given the culture they grew up in, lacking in outlets for expression as well as control over their futures. They created their “secret society” deep in the New England woods, where they forced the slave Tituba to teach them “magic,” as a way to claim power.

“The girls in ‘Afflicted’ created their secret society because they have no hope and no one to inspire them,” said Matt Neufeld, managing director of Metro Theater Company. “If the daughters of Salem had had one inspiring role model, perhaps history would have played out differently. Fortunately, St. Louis has many inspiring role models young people can look to—these are great role models who are invested in our community.”

Thus, the “Secret Society of Inspiring Women” was created as a way to honor St. Louis women who inspire girls today. The inductees into the society (to be honored at each weekend performance) include:

Pat Rich: partner, EMD Consulting Group, and founder, Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis (Friday, March 6)

Katie Rodriguez Banister: disability educator and owner, Access-4-All. com (Saturday, March 7)

Rabbi Amy Feder: senior rabbi, Congregation Temple Israel (Sunday, March 8)

Nicole Young: principal, Lion CSG, and secretary, Engineers’ Club of St. Louis (Friday, March 13)

Dr. Robyn Viloria Wiens: founding principal, Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls (Saturday, March 14)

Dr. Amanda Luckett Murphy: founder and former President/CEO of Hopewell Center (Sunday, March 15)

Prudence Kramer: attorney, Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry
(Friday, March 20)

Elizabeth Tucker: co-founder and publisher, ALIVE magazine; executive producer, St. Louis Fashion Week; and cofounder, Saint Louis Fashion Fund (Saturday, March 21)

Angela R. Lewis: author, speaker, leadership coach for athletes and youth mentor; city director, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship; and assistant coach, St. Louis Surge (Sunday, March 22)

 For more information and to reserve tickets, visit


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