Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl
A joint production by Stage East and Magnificent Liars
Stage East is preparing for the first production of 2020, Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth. A play about an extraordinary 30 year friendship between two of the greatest American literary figures of the 20th century. Dear Elizabeth is composed entirely from the correspondence between the poets Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. Ruhl is a Tony-award winning and Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright who fell in love with the poet's correspondence when it was published in 2010; Dear Elizabeth was first produced in 2012.
Eastporters Brian Schuth and Jenie Smith play the poets, and have been in rehearsal since November. Fully produced, fully memorized, directed by EAC Island Fellow Mark Macey with live music and sound by fellow Eastporter Joan Lowden, it is not just a reading of letters, but a real night in the theater.
That theater will be the theater at Shead High School - the former Band Room. The action will be performed in the area used for seating, with the audience seated on what is usually the stage. Schuth says "the minute I read the play I knew I wanted it to be in an intimate space, and by using the theater in this way we achieve that intimacy while having plenty of room to tell the story." An interview with Schuth, Smith and Lowden about the play will be broadcast on February 12 and 15 on WSHD 93.3 FM, and can be heard online now at www.basslady.com/elizabeth.
Dear Elizabeth will be performed February 14, 21, and 22 at 7:00 p.m. and February 16 and 23 at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday February 15 there will be a special 8:00 p.m. performance, so that attendees might first attend the Eastport Arts Center's International Dinner at 6:00 p.m. before the show. Tickets are $12 for adults, $4 for those under 18. There is limited seating for this special production; tickets may be purchased ahead of time online at stageeast.org starting on February .
TICKETS TO DEAR ELIZABETH
Bishop and Lowell's carefully built, platonic poetic worlds are intruded on constantly by the vagaries of life and body. And through such sudden disturbances, their letters were like lanterns sent to each other across long distance. ------excerpt from Sarah Ruhl's prologue on Bishop and Lowell's letters.