The great 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson was known as a hermit, never venturing far from the confines of her Amherst, Mass. homestead. But Wednesday, September 14, the so-called “virgin recluse” will dominate the stage at Ackley Theater in William Luce’s classic one-woman play “The Belle of Amherst.” Prof. Paula Mann, director of the College’s theater program, plays Dickinson in this ambitious one-woman performance lasting 80 minutes without intermission. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are free for GMC students, staff and faculty.
Dickinson (1830-1886) was largely unrecognized in her lifetime, and treated as an eccentric loner and lovelorn spinster.
“Yet she was a modern woman who, instead of being victimized by the constricted social mores of the time, created the life she wanted in order to fulfill her life’s work, which was her poetry,” Paula remarked of the poet. “Also, her issues in the poems are very modern themes, wrestling with why we’re here on this earth, what comes next, and the ecstasy and desolation of love, life and death.”
This is a reprise of Mann’s performance last spring at The Oldcastle Theatre. She is also performing the play Saturday, September 17 at the Dorset Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office in Dorset at 802-867-5570 or online.