Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dear Elizabeth (Bishop) Sarah Ruhl's Bitersweet Success

My Favorite Poet Now Stars in a Play
It must be really difficult to be a playwright. So many plays I see start out promising and then fall apart in the second act as if now that the characters are introduced,  there's little more to do. Thankfully, seeing Sarah Ruhl's play Dear Elizabeth at the Seattle Reparatory Theater tonight was enjoyable and insightful all the way to the end.

The play, which my friend renamed, "Dueling Monologues" was in turn, funny, philosophical, poetic, and really hearbreaking. The actors playing Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell sit at their desks reciting their letters to each other --- witty, animated, and searingly honest letters. Sometimes they also drink, or rage, or climb towards the moon. Words In Air is the collection of letters between Bishop and Lowell published a couple of years ago. This play made me want to go back to the original letters. A correspondence that lasted 40 years.

On the afternoon of the last performance, March 7th, I will be reading some of Bishop's poems after the show as well as my own Bishop-influenced work. I'm thrilled to share a stage with her -- or as close as is possible in this life. Please come out if you're in the area.

No comments:

Post a Comment