Shakespeare for Everyone

 


by Terry Quinn (after the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne)
directed by Deborah Wright Houston, assisted by Lucie Chin • April 25 & 27, 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.

The Birthmark was first published in 1844.  Hawthorne had his own obsessions that included a horrified fascination with "cold philosophy."  He approached the Romantic notion of the ability of science to destroy art (beauty) in the form of fictive "horror stories" of biological research out of control. He embodied this concern in his several characterizations of scientists, who were also physicians, working in isolation in their laboratories to gain intellectual control over the mysteries of nature. Although the notion of amoral, or immoral, experimentation is dated in these period pieces, the concerns remain ethical problems in the modern world of medicine.

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

 

CAST

Gisela

Duvall O'Steen

Heinrich Perschel

Leo Bertelsen

Aminadab

R. Ward Duffy

A Voice

Linda Russell

CREW

Music & Sound

Linda Russell

Set & Props

Lucie Chin

Costumes

Deborah Wright Houston
Lucie Chin

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