Friday, December 28, 2012

The Gift of Emily Dickinson

Friends will surprise you with the most wonderful, thoughtful gifts.  During a visit with Ina Torton, friend, massage therapist extraordinaire and real estate agent, she handed me a beautiful volume of Emily Dickinson poems. 

Gold lettering, white lilies with gold stems and a bee on a turquoise blue cloth cover.  Beautiful, just beautiful.  Having gone through her bookshelves, Ina came upon this volume of Emily's poems and gave it to me. 

What an appropriate gift as Ina knew that along with my friend, Barbara Dana, our Emily Dickinson show, “A Voice of Her Own” had just had its second reading here in New York City. 

In November 2011, “A Voice of Her Own” had its first reading for an invited audience. See my blog posting of February 24, 2012.  My ending statement was that the show was a work in progress and indeed over the past year, we have worked hard as a team….Kate Bushman, Barbara Dana, Martin Hennessy, Amelia Campbell Arkin and me.

Barbara revised the script numerous times, we read through the scripts after each revision, rehearsed songs, Martin wrote more and more wonderful incidental music that bound the show together. Kate, our director, made suggestions for the flow of the show and character development. Amelia joined our group to read the part of Emily so Barbara could be in the audience experiencing her own writing.


On Sunday, December 9, 2012, “A Voice of Her Own” had its second reading in the exact same rehearsal room as in November 2011. The invited audience included people who had attended one year earlier. In 90 short, fast moving minutes, Emily Dickinson’s life came alive from Barbara’s passionate script. So filled with the depth of Emily’s convictions about her writing, her observations of life and others, the performance soared with Amelia’s deep understanding of the ardent poet. Dialogue flowed into song flowed into dialogue without interruption and the incidental music underscored emotional passages binding the story together.

Touching the hearts of performers and audience members alike, Emily Dickinson was the star and the gift to all on that day. And, our show “A Voice of Her Own” continues to be a work in progress until our next reading in June 2013.





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