No. 731 Degraw-street, Brooklyn, or Emily Dickinson’s Sister at the Venus Theatre Play Shack, Nov 7-Dec 1
by Claudia Barnett
November 7 to December 1
Location: Venus Theatre Play Shack.
Thursday, November 7 at 8:00pm
Friday, November 8 at 8:00pm
Saturday, November 9 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, November 10 at 3:00pm
Thursday, November 14 at 8:00pm
Friday, November 15 at 8:00pm
Saturday, November 16 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, November 17 at 3:00pm
Thursday, November 21 at 8:00pm
Friday, November 22 at 8:00pm
Saturday, November 23 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, November 24 at 3:00pm
Saturday, November 30 at 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday, December 1 at 3:00pm
Description: Kate Stoddard murdered Charles Goodrich in 1873–after he told her they weren’t really married and had her evicted from his Brooklyn brownstone in a blizzard. Kate’s struggles to maintain her sanity and her identity, both before and after she shot her one true love three times in the head, are the subject of this play, which moves backwards and forwards through time and invokes a poetry of madness.
A note on the title: Virginia Woolf imagined a sister for Shakespeare, an artist chastened for her gender and derided for her vision. Unable to act or write, she “killed herself one winter’s night and lies buried at some cross-roads.” Claudia Barnett imagines a similarly metaphorical sister for Emily Dickinson. Kate Stoddard was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1847, about a hundred miles from the reclusive Amherst poet. Inspired by Woolf’s musings, Dickinson’s poetry, and Stoddard’s tragic life, No. 731 Degraw-street, Brooklyn, or Emily Dickinson’s Sister asks: How might the same impulse lead one woman to poetry and another to murder?
Claudia Barnett teaches playwriting at Middle Tennessee State University. She has developed two previous scripts, Feather and Another Manhattan, with Venus Theatre. She wrote No. 731 Degraw-street, Brooklyn, or Emily Dickinson’s Sister as playwright-in-residence at Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and she wrote Witches Vanish as resident playwright at Stage Left Theatre. Her book I Love You Terribly: Six Plays is published by Carnegie Mellon (2012).
“When … one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs … I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Brontë who dashed her brains out on the moor …”
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
“She had cultivated a romantic disposition by a liberal perusal of story papers and novels, and it is more than likely that cheap literature is the prime cause of all her woes and misfortunes.”
The Goodrich Horror:
Being the full confession of Kate Stoddart, or Lizzie King
Thanks for letting the girl talk.
PARENTAL ADVISORY: Ages 16+ – 731 covers rich literary territory with an amazing physical element that has a kind of violence always brewing just under the surface.
Tickets: General Admission $20. Purchase tickets on-line.
Suggested meal before the show: Fajita, or anything that sizzles on a hot pan.
Tampico Tex-Mex Restaurant
42 Washington Blvd
Laurel, MD 20707