The Belle of Amherst
Many years ago, when I was a budding thespian in high school, my parents went to see Julie Harris perform the role of Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst”, which she won the Tony Award for. My mother came home and proclaimed, “You have do to this role someday – you’re just like her.” I’m not sure whether mom was referring to Emily or Julie, but the seed was planted. When I met the brilliant director, Ron Kurtz – who had also wanted to do Belle for years, the seed sprouted and since 2010 has been growing, maturing and ripening ever since.
Since December 0f 2010, I have been performing the show in wide variety of venues and to a wide array of audiences. From 400 seat theatres to small intimate 40 seat theatres and from art galleries to dinner theatre in restaurants, and from avid theatre goers to audiences of 9th and 10th grade English classes, this play never ceases to captivate and inspire. Audiences from the south, the midwest, the west, and Ireland have fallen in love with “The Belle”. Both women and men, young and old have responded with awe and delight at not only all they learn about Emily, but how much joy, passion and upliftment they leave the show with.
William Luce writes, “The Belle of Amherst is a love affair with language, a celebration of all that is beautiful and poignant. . . . .enabling actress and audience to ‘climb the Bars of Ecstasy’ together.”
This extraordinary play, written by William Luce, based on the writings of Emily Dickinson is a singular and rare experience for audiences of all backgrounds. The New York Daily News called it, “Magnificent . . . . An arresting, riveting experience.” The Boston Globe called it, “A beautiful play.”