Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 27, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 09
Dear Elizabeth, write on!
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Dear Elizabeth, write on!

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

DEAR ELIZABETH
SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE
Through March 8


The play Dear Elizabeth is not presented in a typical play format. It is the adaptation by Sarah Ruhl, from the lifelong correspondences between two exceptional American poets - the highly awarded Elizabeth Bishop and the acclaimed Robert Lowell. The Seattle Repertory Theatre currently presents this two-person production in the intimately spaced Leo K. Theatre. Told mainly with an epistolary technique, Suzanne Bouchard (Elizabeth) and Stephen Barker Turner (Robert Lowell) share an intimacy through the vast letters and few personal meetings lasting over 30 years.

The poet Elizabeth Bishop was born in Massachusetts, 1911. Her father died when she was 8 months old and her mother entered an institution for treatment of mental illness less than five years later. Practically orphaned, she lived with distant relatives receiving very little education due to staying home from her own struggles with asthma; something she would be plagued with all her life. Eventually, she attended Vassar where poet and friend Mary McCarthy published the first of her work, along with a note of introduction. She won the Houghton Mifflin Prize for poetry in 1946 for her book, North & South. Bishop was introduced to the poet Robert Lowell in 1947, and shortly after they began their correspondence.

Robert Lowell was born in 1917 to a prominent Boston family that could trace their origins back to the Mayflower. Given the impish nickname of 'Cal' (said to be taken from Caligula or Caliban because of a mean spirit), he published his first book of poetry in 1944 and quickly became recognized throughout the literary world, serving as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1947-1948); the position's title would eventually be changed to U.S. Poet Laureate. Becoming a very influential persona in the literary world, it was Robert Lowell (along with his second wife Elizabeth Hardwick) that founded The New York Review of Books.

Dear Elizabeth is a character driven study of two extraordinary poets. Through simple actions and short, alternating narratives, the friendship is explored in a way that easily absorbs the audience. The audience sees the connection through words that these two shared, and the support that is needed through their broken lives. Both parties suffer from mental illnesses; Bishop's through depression and a lifelong struggle with alcoholism, and Lowell's suffering from manic-depression to the point of enduring several stays a different asylums. The letters - and therefore the play - share both of their private lives, and an intimacy (of unknown revelations) of friendship from the few in-person meetings. Elizabeth expresses the joys of finding the great love of her life, a woman named Lota, as easily as Robert shares the joys and frustrations of going through three marriages. The frustrations of Bishop's alcoholism that had her hospitalized from drinking rubbing alcohol, to the mental breakdowns and frequent stays at the famous psychiatric facility, McLean Hospital. It's all shown - warts and all.

The two-person show may not seem like everyone's cup of tea and it would be understandable for people to be hesitant of an epistolary play. But that's not the case in this situation. Both actors, Suzanne Bouchard and Stephen Barker Turner, do an excellent job of expressing the relationship between these two individuals. While there isn't a lot of action going on stage, Sarah Ruhl's writing slowly casts a verbal net around the audience subtly bringing them into the fold. Even if you don't know anything about poetry or the lives of these poets, it isn't necessary to enjoy the fine works of the artists, poets or actors respectively.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Teatro Zinzanni heats up with 'The Hot Spot'
------------------------------
2015 Academy Awards recap
------------------------------
Handel's Semele: The excitement is worth waiting for
------------------------------
Seattle March theater-openings preview
Some plays very, very new; some plays very, very old; and a lot in between

------------------------------
Chef Wayne & Crumble Catering dished it up for Sir Elton John on Oscars night
Event raised $5.8 million for Elton John AIDS Foundation

------------------------------
Dear Elizabeth, write on!
------------------------------
Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA: Absolutely Enchanting
------------------------------
The Oscars: Lady GaGa dazzles, Harris fizzles, and somebody thanked their dog
------------------------------
'In the Mood' is swinging to Benaroya Hall on March 7
------------------------------
CORRECTION & ADDENDUM to last week's review of 'Ten Tiny Dances'
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
LETTERS: Barronelle Stutzman's action is sheer arrogance
------------------------------
Mat Kearney always a Northwesterner at heart
------------------------------
Charming DUFF a funny high school jaunt
------------------------------
Dispiriting Focus lacking its titular trait
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2014 - DigitalTeamWorks 2014

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News