About the Play

 Abby at Clark Street School

Yours for Humanity —Abby, a one-woman play based on Abby Kelley Foster's letters and speeches, premiered on January 17, 2004, at the Worcester Public Library to a standing-room-only audience. Actress Lynne McKenney Lydick portrayed and still portrays Abby.  The play shows a week in Abby's life in 1854 as she lectures in Indiana against slavery. Abby frequently closes her letters with the words that form the title of the play.

Travel back in time as you listen to Abby's words as spoken at anti-slavery lectures. Hear her describe the "cruel hard facts of slavery" to the local townspeople in Indiana, and hear her poignant words in her letters home to her family.

The play demonstrates how an ordinary person, like Abby, can affect extraordinary changes in society.

The play was fabulous—I heard some very nice comments from students. It definitely had an impact on them. One student in my seminar said she realized that Abby was her own age when she set out on her speaking mission—it really floored her that someone so young could be so brave. You and your colleagues are to be congratulated for your accomplishments with this important project.
- Diane Bukatko (women's studies at Holy Cross
“We at Gates Lane (school) wish to extend our deepest thanks to the Women’s History Project for the one woman play, Yours for Humanity —Abby. Lynne McKenney Lydick truly brought to life the character and times of Abby Kelley Foster.
Our students were both fascinated and moved by Abby Kelley Foster’s commitment to racial and gender equality. The play was a perfect ending to their study of Ms. Foster’s life.”
-Donna Elmes
Lynne McKenney Lydick brought this defiant, intelligent, eloquent Massachusetts woman to life on the school's small stage.....we were transported to a distant time and place, but with concerns not so very distant from our own.
- Asst. Superintendent, Dr. Deborah Brady, Auburn Public Schools
I really felt like I was in the same room .....with Abby Kelley Foster
-A comment from a student
This presentation is a fine gift to the Worcester Community by making tangible the legacy we all enjoy from the efforts of courageous people of the past.
-A comment from the community