Friday, January 12, 2007

Theatrical chronicles

The upcoming performances, next January 19, of Jane Eyre. The Musical in Nashua, New Hampshire, see this old post, is commented in this article in Manchester HippoPress:

In the case of StageCoach Productions, which presents its inaugural musical, Jane Eyre, at 14 Court St. Theater in Nashua Friday, Jan. 19, three teachers discovered a common desire to bring lesser-known, challenging plays to the area. (...)

Jane Eyre is probably the most accessible of the pieces they chose for adult actors. [In Michelle Henderson's words] it’s “very ethereal” and evokes the “dark and Gothic” mood of the Charlotte Bronte novel. (Heidi Masek)
And the ongoing performances of Polly Teale's Brontë in Wellesley, Massachussetts, are commented in this other article published in The Boston Globe:
For literature fans, the Brontë story is well known: Against all odds, three sisters -- Anne, Charlotte, and Emily -- living in isolation on the Yorkshire moors in the 1800s managed to pen some of the Western canon's most highly regarded works.

But award-winning British playwright Polly Teale wanted to burrow a little deeper into how this came to be. Her "Brontë," which opened its US premiere at the Wellesley Summer Theatre yesterday, weaves its way into the minds of these women and the dissolute brother they were never meant to outshine.

Characters come to life and haunt their creators, and family tensions burn fiercely as every advantage is heaped upon the brother, Branwell, who has little talent or ambition.

"It's very unsentimental. It's very nitty - gritty," said the play's director, Nora Hussey, of Wellesley.

"It get s to the heart of what it is to be a writer, to be a woman, to feel the frustrations that women felt in those days. I mean, they weren't even allowed to go to the library. Only men could go to the library, and, ironically, 'Jane Eyre' wound up in the library."

The play is the final in a trilogy of Brontë-themed works by Teale that the professional troupe has produced. It follows "After Mrs. Rochester" and "Jane Eyre," and, like those pieces, sets are spare and the theater space is intimate. It is the Brontës who instead fill the room.

"These were not small people," Hussey said. "These were large personalities. They were extraordinary people."
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