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"The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: timothy haskell (
Date: April 28, 2004 04:29PM

this is the press release for a new play here in new york about ts eliot and his estranged wife vivienne that i thought you'd be interested in.

Before The Osbournes There Were...
A Wild Imagistic Ride into the Mind of an Artist

New York, NY (March 26th, 2003) - Stillpoint Productions is proud to present the world premiere of the tumultuous story of The Eliots conceived and directed by Lear deBessonet. Performances begin at Center Stage (48 West 21st St., bet. 5th and 6th) on Thursday, April 29th and ending May 9th, running Wednesdays - Sundays at 8 PM, with an added matinee, May 8th at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or by going to

The Eliots is a poetic performance piece based on T.S. Eliot and his estranged wife Vivienne's relationship. The play, provoked by the recent biography "Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot, First Wife of T. S. Eliot, and the Long-Suppressed Truth About Her Influence on His Genius" by Carole Seymour Jones, is staged with the same aplomb as the poetry and prose of T.S. Eliot, particularly "The Waste Land." The Eliots explores their disturbed relationship, and its emotional influence on his work through a collage of text and movement, responding to the scope and cadence of Eliot's language, his spiritual acuity, and baffling personal life.

"The Eliots adopts a collage aesthetic modeled after "The Waste Land" - combining history and rhythm, high and low culture, the obscure, beautiful, and colloquial, with massive stylistic shifts," says director/ writer Lear deBessonet. "Once you know the story of his relationship with Vivienne, his works seem to be a sťance calling it back to life. He reincarnates both Vivienne and himself over and over again in different fictionalized forms, and that is precisely how we are going to investigate their story."

Lear deBessonet (Director) has assisted Anne Bogart (bobrauschenbergamerica) and Marianne Weems (Alladeen, 2003 BAM Next Wave Festival). Other directing credits include transfigures, The Female Terrorist Project, and L'Histoire du Canard. Internationally, she has directed a new tri-lingual musical for the National Opera Theatre of Kazakhstan (In the Dark Ages). The rest of her artistic team includes: Mark Huang (sound - Drama Desk Nomination 2002, Outstanding Sound Design, Cressida Among the Greeks), Beth Turomsha (lighting), Donyale Werle (set), Kirche Zeile (costumes), Gregory King (projections), and Caridad Svich (collaborating writer - New Dramatists).

The cast includes Julie Kline, Chris Healy (Nicholas and Alexandra, dir. Anne Bogart, Yokastas, dir. Richard Schechner), Lethia Nall (As You Like It at The Public Theater, dir. Erica Schmidt; Come To Leave dir. Allison Eve Zell; Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink, a NYC Premiere, Alter Ego), Nate Schennkan (Katherine Profetta's 131 at PS122), and Ryan West (Off-Broadway: PANIC! (HOW TO BE HAPPY!)).

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Chesil (---.clvdoh.adelphia.)
Date: April 30, 2004 09:14AM

Interesting. Sadly, I won't be in NYC while it is running.

Anybody seen it, any reviews?

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: lg (
Date: April 30, 2004 11:39AM

There is a listing here:

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and review here:

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Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: April 30, 2004 11:56AM

Thanks, Les. I think the review is the sales pitch that was posted above. They would only have had one night to see it. I'll pick up a New Yorker this week and see if they have anything. I am busy trying to withold my skepticism that this is trying to take advantage of the Hughes/Plath saga that seems to be so popular at present!


Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: lg (
Date: April 30, 2004 12:04PM

Chesil, there's nothing like a bandwagon to spawn a new musical. On second
reading I'm sure you're right about the "review" above.


Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Talia (
Date: April 30, 2004 12:09PM

Anyone read the book? ("Painted Shadow: The Life of Vivienne Eliot..") If I remember correctly, I think I heard somehwere that they had some sort of strange rerlationshop due to the fact that Mr. Eliot was too afraid to "consummate" the marriage or do any other of those normal married things. I'll have to check my library....although I'm sure they won't have it.

Oh, if only I lived in NY!

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: RJAllen (193.114.111.---)
Date: May 02, 2004 09:15AM

There was an earlier play Tom and Viv by Michael Hastings and a film of the same title based on it.

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Talia (
Date: May 02, 2004 06:01PM

I would love to know where I, a Indianian who lives in a one-hourse town, surrounded by several other one-horse towns, could get ahold of such films. Anyone know any good websites?

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: May 03, 2004 01:42PM

Re: "The Eliots" a play in new york
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: May 03, 2004 01:45PM


If you have a DVD player, you might check out Netflix. They have a rent-by-mail system.


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