Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Same-Sex Romance in a New Nation, New Adaptation of Patience and Sarah
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2018-10-03

This article shared 1097 times since Wed Oct 3, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The legacy of self-taught artist Mary Ann Willson is founded on a portfolio of watercolors executed in tints fashioned from brick dust, berry juices and vegetable dyes—materials plentiful in the rural regions of Greene County, New York, during the early 19th century—as well as two letters from a patron asking after her and a "Miss Brundage," with whom she shared a log cabin on a farm, and a lifetime companionship. Romantic legends are built on just such archeological enigmas. In 1969, author Alma Routsong, writing under the pseudonym Isabel Miller, published a novel recounting the story of two very dissimilar women, now named Patience White and Sarah Dowling, whose passion for one another led them to seek their fortunes together on the frontier circa 1820, in defiance of then-prevalent social and familial norms. The obstacles they overcome in their pursuit of happiness beckoned to lyricist Wende Persons and composer Paula M. Kimper in 1998. The results were the opera now celebrating its 20th anniversary production under the auspices of Third Eye Theatre Ensemble

What about this obscure footnote in the cultural history of our country sparked the imaginations of not one, but three, artists living over two hundred years after the events it documents? Third Eye Artistic Director Rena Ahmed, Director Jennifer Cox and Conductor Alexandra Enyart weigh in on the possibilities.

Windy City Times: What made Third Eye decide that now was the right time to acquaint us with this story?

Jennifer Cox: People sometimes seem to think that same-sex love is a recent invention—like we were new-sprung from Oscar Wilde's thigh. To be reminded that human love, in ALL its manifestations, has been around ever since there were humans gives us back our historical roots.

WCT: Miller recounted the saga of the fictionalized Willson and Brundage as a novel, but could as easily have adapted it as a play or a film. How does opera's "sung-through" vocabulary enhance the story?

Alexandra Enyart: Music not only gives us insight into characters' hearts and minds, but also suggests an environment. During Sarah's travels, for example, the music paints us a picture of the open road. It also sets up themes, so that the melody we associate with Patience and Sarah's first kiss later returns as a sweet reminder—or as a bitter memory.

WCT: Cohabiting spinsters were not uncommon before the term "lesbian" ( which never appears in the libretto ) mandated an erotic dimension to same-sex romantic relationships. How sexual will your heroines be?

AE: We only get brief glimpses of their sex lives onstage, but the distinction between closeness through proximity—as when Sarah shares a bed with her sister at home—and intimacy springing from the desire for a deep and meaningful romantic connection, is made very clear by the music in our show.

WCT: When Patience and Sarah first opened at Lincoln Center, its performance time was almost three hours. Third Eye's production at Theater Wit has a much smaller budget and stage. What changes did this necessitate?

Rena Ahmed: We are premiering a newly revised two-hour version of the opera, written by Paula [Kimper] specifically for small companies like ours. We've been working at Prop Thtr for the last three years, so Theater Wit is actually a pretty BIG theater for us!

JC: Even with only a seven-piece orchestra, it was difficult locating it where it wouldn't take up too much playing space, but would still allow Alex to communicate with the singers AND musicians. The small studio works to an advantage, though, in that it echoes the emotional restrictions that Patience and Sarah suffer while awaiting the freedom they long for.

WCT: What should your audience expect from their experience?

JC: At the Lyric, audiences just observe [the music], but storefront opera is a much more visceral experience. You can't help but be immersed in it.

RA: There are Patiences and Sarahs all over the world—people who have to fight every day just to be with the person they love. The time has never been more right to tell women's stories in all their complexity and richness.

* * *

Patience and Sarah opens Oct. 5 at Theater Wit and runs through Oct. 21. Tickets/info: Theaterwit.org 773-975-8150


This article shared 1097 times since Wed Oct 3, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Citadel Theatre to return in fall with a four-show 2021-22 season
2021-05-08
--From a press release - LAKE FOREST, IL - Citadel Theatre Company will return to live, in-person, indoor performances in September with a season of four productions — three plays plus the company's traditional holiday musical - according to Artistic Director ...


Gay News

Cast announced for May 18 virtual reading of JEFFREY
2021-05-06
--From a press release - CHICAGO — PrideArts today announced the full cast for its upcoming reading of Paul Rudnick's comedy JEFFREY. David Belew, founder and former artistic director of Eclectic Full Contact Theatre, will direct a cast that will include ...


Gay News

Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world
2021-05-05
Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...


Gay News

Home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin first San Francisco lesbian history landmark
2021-05-04
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to designate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ and civil rights activists Phyllis Lyon ...


Gay News

Heather Headley to headline Goodman Theatre's May 22 virtual gala
2021-05-03
Goodman Theatre announced that Tony-winning Broadway actor and Grammy Award-winning singer Heather Headley will headline the company's "Together Center Stage" virtual 2021 gala fundraiser. "Together Center Stage" is slated to stream Saturday, May 22, ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20
2021-05-03
On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...


Gay News

THEATER Artistic Director Anna Shapiro leaving Steppenwolf post
2021-05-03
Anna D. Shapiro—the artistic director of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 2015—will leave her post when her contract expires in August. Over the last several months, Shapiro has been working ...


Gay News

Pat Parker GCLS 2021 Trailblazer Award recipient
2021-04-30
--From a press release - Pat Parker, a poet, activist, and artist will receive the Golden Crown Literary Society's 2021 Trailblazer Award. Parker shaped the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements of the late '60s and '70s in the ...


Gay News

VIRTUAL THEATER Oak Park Festival Theatre to present 'The Venetians'
2021-04-28
Oak Park Festival Theatre, in partnership with Kane Repertory Theatre, is presenting a virtual production of The Venetians, a new play by Matt Barbot that brings together various characters from several of Shakespeare's best-loved plays to ...


Gay News

'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16
2021-04-22
On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman dies
2021-04-22
Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman died April 11 due to complications from ovarian cancer. She was 61. Lipman was born Jan. 21, 1960 in Chicago and graduated from Morgan Park High School. She also ...


Gay News

Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue
2021-04-21
In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...


Gay News

Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests
2021-04-21
The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...


Gay News

Lightfoot calls resignation rumors 'homophobic, racist and misogynistic'
2021-04-19
On April 18, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called rumors that she's resigning "homophobic, racist and misogynistic," The Chicago Tribune reported. Lightfoot tweeted, "1/ Good morning from my mansion in Sauganash. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock
2021-04-18
Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.