Date(s) - 08/31/2019
Belle Comes to Ventura!
“Forever is Composed of Nows.” -Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson, one of America’s most treasured poets of the mid-1800’s comes to Ventura to share her timeless message through stories, letters and poetry. The Belle of Amherst by William Luce, will be presented, Saturday, August 31st at Rubicon Theatre, Ventura. This classic one-woman play is a first-person account of Dickinson’s life, a portrayal of a lively, witty, provocative and independent woman.
Emily is played by Anna Kotula, an Ojai actor and choreographer. The play is directed by Steve Grumette, Artistic Director of the Ojai Film Festival.
The Belle of Amherst challenges the stereotypical depiction of Emily as a reclusive spinster. Luce’s play reveals a vibrant genius with a very robust sense of herself. Many of Dickinson’s original letters, along with 15 colorful characters, come to life in this play. Emily wrote nearly 1800 poems during her 54 years, but only a handful of them were published during her lifetime. “Emily boldly pierces our deepest questions about who we are and what has made us,” adds Kotula. “With only her books and a fondness for being in nature, she had remarkable insights into this life and the beyond. The Belle of Amherst is a love affair with language. I’m honored to bring this as a fundraiser to the Rubicon.”
When Anna first performed The Belle of Amherst at the Ojai Art Center Theater in December, 2018, the show quickly became a sold-out run. Reviewer Sami Zahringer wrote “Actress Anna Kotula of Ojai robustly fleshes out the myth of Dickinson, making of her a real-life presence we can warm to personally, not just on the page. No quaintly spectral, shrinking violet here, Dickinson has girlish vivacity, wit and charm, captured by Kotula who manages to preserve the ephemeral luminosity of Dickinson that has fascinated us on the page for the best part of 200 years…. Kotula takes the extraordinary challenge of playing this off-kilter genius, meets it and, under Steve Grumette’s direction, molds it captivatingly across two hours of riveting, first-rate theater. Dickinson fans will rejoice in this performance, but people new to Dickinson will find a ‘phosphorescent’ new world of language and perspective.”
The Belle of Amherst is proudly hosted by Rubicon Theatre Company at 1006 East Main St., Ventura. One performance only on Saturday, August 31st, at 7 PM. VIP Tickets at $35 include a “Black Cake” reception with champagne and a slice of Dickinson’s famous dessert. Other seats are priced at $25. Proceeds from this exclusive event will support Rubicon’s Education and Outreach programs.
For more information and tickets, phone Rubicon Guest Services at 805-667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org