PHOTOS BY AMY KRIS
JANINE THE PLAYWRIGHT, SINGER
JUST CALL ME BELVA!
Don’t Give Up Before the Miracle, I heard these words about three decades ago and was profoundly affected by them. They time and time again prevent me from giving up before the miracle when I am up against all odds of failure in show business, and in life in general. I was genuinely awed and inspired when I discovered a little known champion who echoed this same sense of resolve and higher purpose, Belva Lockwood. I was researching my published book, Holding Her Head High, when she literally jumped off the pages. Now, I am her devoted champion. Belva Lockwood, a relatively unknown jewel of a woman, was a daughter, wife, single mother, humanitarian and defender of justice for all. She was insatiably curious and unrelentingly determined to never take no for an answer. She didn’t just fight for women’s rights —she fought for abolition, the Native Americans and world peace. She fought for college degrees, law degrees and to be the first woman admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. She argued the landmark Trail of Tears reparations case, (for the Cherokee Nation), at the Supreme Court and won. And surprisingly unknown to most Americans, she was the first woman to run for President of the United States. Belva Lockwood, representing the Equal Rights Party, was officially the first woman on the Presidential ballot in 1884. She won thousands of national votes during a time when women were forbidden to vote. Just Call Me Belva! is a story about not only her indefatigable journey, but the devoted, unconquerable, inseparable love she had for her daughter, Lura. Just Call Me Belva! is a musical that embraces, entertains, enlivens and inspires all. It is lively, joyous, deep and meaningful —an evening of fun with a goal that the audience leaves the theater with a pep in their step, a song in their heart and a resolve, no matter what life challenges they are facing, to never give up before the miracle.
Book & Lyrics by Janine Turner
Music by Raina Murnak
BELVA: FIRST REHEARSALS
The videos below contains exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the cast of Just Call Me Belva! as they read, sing, act, and discover the script on their feet for the very first time. The work shown below is in progress, similar to an audition. No sets, no choreography (yet) - just the beginning steps of taking a show to Broadway (we hope)!
All material below is copyrighted and provided solely for the enjoyment and education of the audience. All rights are reserved.