Listen Up: UMO Ensemble Offers Epic Audio Series

The seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon at 9 p.m. Sunday, July, 4.

  • Thursday, July 1, 2021 8:53pm
  • Arts
Maria Glanz records a portion of her new audio series about the life and times of Victoria C. Woodhull, which will premiere on July 4, on Voice of Vashon (Courtesy Photo).

Maria Glanz records a portion of her new audio series about the life and times of Victoria C. Woodhull, which will premiere on July 4, on Voice of Vashon (Courtesy Photo).

By John Longenbaugh

For UMO Ensemble

Victoria C. Woodhull: spiritualist, suffragist, free lover — and in her day, the most famous woman in the United States.

UMO Ensemble, a physical theatre company based on Vashon Island, Washington, has pivoted to present its first-ever audio drama, “VIC: The Life and Times of Victoria C. Woodhull, Future Presidentess,” by Maria Glanz.

This seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon at 9 p.m. Sunday, July, 4, and then be heard bi-weekly to its conclusion.

The drama is framed around the last night of Woodhull’s life — when she’d been nearly erased from history — as she reckons with spirits and voices from her past as she relives moments both painful and exultant.

Adapted from Glanz’s stage play “VIC: Spirit Made Flesh,” and directed by her frequent collaborator Elizabeth Klob, the show includes original music by Jason Webley and Gretta Harley and a company of actors including Jeannie Dougherty, Ted Dowling, David Godsey, Tami Brockway Joyce, Alyssa Keene, Victoria Knox, Janet McAlpin, Steffon Moody, Jon Schroeder, Dylan Smith, Jason Webley, Lyam White, Bob Williams and Anthony Winkler, with Glanz herself playing Older Victoria and Klob as her mother Roxy.

The drama takes the audience on a ride through an unforgettable American story. In 1872, the Civil War had shattered notions of what it meant to be “American.” Slavery was eradicated, but reconstruction and racism were coiling around what it meant to be “free.” Robber barons were building railroads and running banks, creating the seeds of what Mark Twain coined the gilded age. Suffragists were calling for women’s right to vote – and Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for President of the United States.

Owners of the first woman-run stock brokerage in the US, newspaper publishers, and as notorious in their time as the Kardashians are today, Victoria and her sister Tennessee were praised and condemned in equal measure.

The show developed from a planned stage production at ACT in 2020, meant to coincide with the 100th anniversary of a woman’s right to vote in 2019 and the coming election. But when COVID intervened, the company and writer turned to adapt the work as an audio production, making it possible to work with many of the same artists in a new medium.

According to Klob, the play remains incredibly relevant in terms of many of the same basic human rights issues that are still being fought for.

“She was indeed ahead of her time…. for example, her stance on free love, an eight-hour workday, income inequality…you name it,” Klob said.

The adaptation allowed Klob and Glanz to reconsider the form and to adapt the play to use a larger cast than planned.

“The radio recording process was a sharp learning curve,” Klob said, “and it was extraordinary to build completely new skills at this point in my career.”

For Glanz, the process was one that moved quickly from excitement to nervousness, and then abject terror, as she realized the challenge of translating a physical spectacle into an entirely different medium.

“At that point, I entered the most intense creative exertion I have ever experienced,” Glanz said. “It culminated in a stretch of working eight to ten hours a day, writing in a way I had never done before … But Victoria’s story persevered.”

Episode one of the production, “It Is Time,” can be heard on Voice of Vashon, KVSH 101.9 FM or on the free VoV mobile app or by streaming at Worried about missing the debut episode? Listen on-demand anytime at

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Arts

Annual auction offers art and more, from the comfort of home

The culmination of VCA’s art auction will be a free, live-streamed gala at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

our town
Our Town: Sharon Munger’s artful life on Vashon

“I know of no other place I want to be, with such a vibrant art community,” says Munger.

What’s happening in arts

Peruse a new mini gallery and check out an upcoming short film festival at Night Light Drive-in.

flower press
Our Town: Local photographer learns new language of artmaking

According to Ed Holmes, the creative voice is present within all of us.

Flower-powered band to perform season-ender on outdoor stage

Seattle-based band General Mojo’s to close out Summer Stage season at Open Space.

Book Vashon
Islanders share life stories through new memoir collection

“Where We Came From” preserves group’s stories for their friends, families and next generation.

What’s Happening in Arts | Sept. 9 to 16

Support Vashon Center for the Arts, learn about plankton, and enroll in sculpture classes.

light show
Laser and music show will light up the night next week

“Liquid Light” returns, in a follow-up from its debut presentation from July 4th.

Pascale Judet Artwork
Drawings and paintings by Pascale Judet can be seen at VALISE Gallery’s new show.
First Friday gallery walk beckons art lovers on Sept. 4

First Friday will launch VCA’s annual art auction, which culminates with a gala on Friday, Sept. 24

John de Groen Photo
A celebration of the life of Marshall McKay Murray will take place on Oct. 16.
What’s Happening

Fall arts classes, upcoming performances, a celebration of life for Marshall Murray

More than 300 ride to glory with Passport2Pain

An estimated $40,000 was raised by riders in this year’s event.

What’s happening Aug. 19 – 26

Go glam at a house concert, islanders work with youth to create book, and more.