Frank Woodhull at Women Center Stage
Holly is currently in rehearsals for a workshop production of her new play about the life of Frank Woodhull/Mary Johnson, which goes up at the Women Center Stage festival on October 13th and 14th. https://www.cultureproject.org/event-listing/2018/10/14/directors-weekend
“I had been told that I looked like a man, and I knew that in Canada some women have put on men’s clothes do men’s work. So the thought took shape in my mind. If these women had done it why could not I, who looked like a man? … I bought men’s clothes and began to wear them. Then things changed. I had prospects.”
Mary Johnson was a Canadian immigrant who entered New York through Ellis Island in 1908 as Frank Woodhull, dressed in a suit and asserting that they had lived under a male identity for fifteen years. Woodhull was brought before a Board of Special Inquiry at Ellis Island, which declared him a “desirable immigrant who should be allowed to win her livelihood as she saw fit.” This is the story of a immigrant who was accepted freely into this country in 1908.