Shakespeare for Everyone

 


by Terry Quinn (after the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
directed by Deborah Wright Houston, assisted by Lucie Chin • December 3 & 4, 2004
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Terry Quinn has published two novels and a biography  His short stories, memoir pieces and plays have appeared in many literary journals and national magazines.  He wrote the book, lyrics and music for two full-length music theater works that have received numerous off-Broadway and regional productions. He has also written seven dramas presented on stages in New York City, England, France and Germany, and on National Public Radio. Mr. Quinn co-authored, with George Plimpton, One Sunday with the Fitzgeralds (featuring Lee Grant and Timothy Hutton) and Zelda, Scott and Ernest (with Norman Mailer and Norris Church Mailer).  The 92nd Street Y recently presented the world premiere of Hester Prynne at Death, a chamber opera for which he wrote the libretto.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, to a family that had been prominent in the area since colonial times.  A rich lore of family and local history provided much of the material for Hawthorne's works.  When he was four, his father died on a voyage in Surinam, Dutch Guinea.  Maternal relatives recognized his literary talent and financed his education at Bowdoin College.  Among his classmates were many of the important literary and political figures of the day: writer Horatio Bridge, future Senator Jonathan Ciley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and future President Franklin Pierce.  These prominent friends supplied Hawthorne with government employment in the lean times, allowing him time to bloom as an author.

Hawthorne wrote Rappacini's Daughter in 1844 for his collection of short stories, Mosses from an Old Manse.  He had been married to Sophia Peabody for two years.  Some readers consider Rappacini's Daughter to be an allegorical tale, but offer different interpretations as to the meaning of the allegory.  From a psychological perspective, critics explore the story's reflections of Hawthorne's personal anxieties about women in his life and about the nature of masculinity while feminist critics have examined its treatment of the images of woman, especially in light of gender roles in the nineteenth century.

In 1850 and 1851, Hawthorne completed his most famous works, The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables.

 

CAST

Giacomo Rappacini

Pete Barker

Beatrice,
Rappacini's Daughter

Cotton Wright

Giovanni Guasconti

Andrew Oswald*

Pietro Baglioni

Jeffrey Guyton*

Three Sisters,
the flora and fauna of Rappacini's garden:
Carrie Edel
Jeannine Myers
Martina Weber
Narrator Sabrina Mess
*Member of Actors' Equity Association (AEA)
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