Thursday, November 30, through Sunday, December 10
Riverside Theatre, 119 East College Street, Iowa City IA
Praised by Broadway World for "the raw honesty of the emotions" and its "tragic yet inspiring story," playwright Jordi Mand's historical drama Brontë: The World Without makes its United States premiere during a November 30 through December 10 run at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, the stage work offering fascinating, deeply engaging insight into the lives of not one, not two, but three authors who share a surname.
A beautiful intersection of art and family: Mand's play concerns the three Brontë sisters – Charlotte, Emily, and Anne – and follows their lives during the period in which they wrote masterpieces such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. In moments of personal and financial struggle, with their reverend father sick and their brother wasting away, they learn to trust the stories within them. But as ambitious women in the 1800s, their pioneering literary careers do not come without costs in this play that premiered at the Stratford Festival In Canada in 2018. With Brontë: The World Without old over five days in the span of three years, the extraordinary story of the Brontë sisters’ pioneering literary careers unfolds to show what it was like to be ambitious women of their era, and how eerily similar their plights were to the struggles women still face today.
Directing Brontë: The World Without's United States premiere is Juliana Frey-Méndez, who also helmed Riverside's production of Fefu & Her Friends earlier this year, with her three-person cast composed of Lauren Baker as Emily, Mackenzie Elsbecker as Anne, and Katie Gucik at Charlotte. Faith Harlow serves as the drama's stage manager while Zhenya Loughney acts as assistant stage manager, and additional members of Frey-Méndez's creative team include: scenic designer Kaelen Novak; costume designer Jenny Nutting Kelchen; lighting designer Jim Vogt; sound designer Dakota Parobek; props designer Stephen Polchert; imtimacy coordinator Carrie Pozdol; dramaturg Sara Ashbaugh; and master electrician Haven Haywood.
Brontë: The World Without will be staged in Iowa City from November 30 through December 10, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $15-39, and more information and tickets are available by calling (319)259-7099 and visiting RiversideTheatre.org.