A Menace to Society: a historical docudrama based on events in the life of Bill Baird

A Menace to Society

a historical docudrama based on the life of Bill Baird

Staged Reading: A Menace to Society

A collaboration between the UMass Amherst Departments of History, Theater, Women’s Studies, Legal Studies, and Special Collections and Archives.

On April 7, 1967 Bill Baird, father of four, was declared “a menace to society” and sentenced to three months in a rat-infested Charles Street Jail, Cambridge, Mass. for giving a can of contraceptive foam to an unmarried coed during a lecture tour on birth control. A year later, Baird led a demonstration at Zayre’s department store in Hadley, Mass, which sold contraceptives without legal consequence. In highlighting the arbitrariness of the law's enforcement, Baird's activism contributed to profound changes in our society, eventually leading to a Supreme Court ruling that extended the right to use contraceptives for all unmarried individuals.

Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from the departments of History, Theater, Women’s Studies, Legal Studies, and Special Collections and Archives will collaborate in creating and performing a new work, presented as a script-in-hand staged reading, that explores this key moment in the history of reproductive rights.

Dec. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.
$5 general, $3 students/seniors
The Curtain Theater

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Audience members are invited to remain after the performance for an extended Q&A session following both performances with members of the entire team involved in creating the production, as well as special guests.