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“An Evening with Jane Austen, Emily Brontė,
& Emily Dickinson”

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portrait of Patricia Hruby Powell as Jane Austen


















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Powell, Patricia Hruby (American playwright, storyteller, author, dancer, actor, July 6, 1951-____), “An Evening with Jane Austen, Emily Brontė, & Emily Dickinson,”

a 55-minute biographical drama in three scenes in English, set in a simple drawing room in England and America, winter of 1814, 1848, spring of 1883,

1f

; © 1997 by Patricia Hruby Powell; • in Patricia Hruby Powell’s An Evening with Jane Austen, Emily Brontė, & Emily Dickinson (Champaign, Illinois, U.S.A.: The Author, 1997); • script/rights available from Patricia Hruby Powell, 2103 Georgetown Circle, Champaign, Illinois 61821, U.S.A., (home) telephone/fax (217) 366-3218, phpowell@talesforallages.com, http://www.talesforallages.com. • Cited by Patricia Hruby Powell via ftp December 4, 2005; Powell says,

§ Dramatis Persona Jane Austen/Emily Brontė/Emily Dickinson (f), 39/30/52, authors.

§ Synopsis “In Chawton, Hampshire, England, winter 1814. Jane Austen is writing (aloud) her novel Emma. She gamely enacts scenes from her Pride and Prejudice, playing all parts, and conveys the secrets, delights, and difficulties of a ‘writing lady’--one who has not married, as she reveals details of her daily life. In Haworth, Yorkshire, England, 1848, Emily Brontė—soon after the publication of Wuthering Heights—recalls memories of her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, on the day following the funeral of their brother Branwell. A sad short history of the Brontės’ lives and their use of autobiographical material emerges. Emily reads the mixed reviews of her masterpiece Wuthering Heights, as she fights the will to live . . . or die. In Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1883, Emily Dickinson ‘reads’ her groundbreaking poetry, describing why she is a recluse, why she remains unpublished, and how she keeps faith in God and in Nature. Meanwhile, the daily pattern of her life emerges; they disclose her conviction of being remembered after she dies.

§ Comment “The play, comprised of three sequential vignettes, with each character breaking the fourth wall, employs the words of the three great 19th century authors--from their masterpieces, their poetry and their letters. One actress plays all three: Jane Austen, female, 39; Emily Brontė, female, 30, quite ill with consumption (TB); Emily Dickinson, female, a youthful 52. A white full-length cotton shift allows costume changes to be made on stage. Jane Austen dresses in empire style with a blue sash. Emily Brontė remove the sash and replaces it with a full length, bodiced gray apron. Emily Dickinson removes the apron and replaces it with a white camisette that makes a shirt-waist white dress. The set remains an austere 19th century drawing room comprised of a settee (wooden bench), two wooden chairs, low table (piano bench), and two low end tables, peonies, wine glass, and a single rose. This play has worked with or without variable stage lighting, in libraries and colleges, in gymnasiums and on stages, in eight states since 1997. • Patricia Hruby Powell, formerly a choreographer/dancer and presently a nationally-touring storyteller and actor; the author of three picture books; recipient of choreographic, writing, and performing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and Ragdale Foundation (among others).”

§ Themes 1900s, Austen (Jane Austen, December 16, 1775-July 18, 1817), Brontė (Emily Brontė, July 30, 1818-December 19, 1848), Dickinson (Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, December 10, 1830-May 15, 1886), England, biographical drama, female biography, one-woman play, 19th century authors.



This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted December 5, 2005, and updated December 8, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

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