The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman is “a onewoman show about the greatest American actress of the nineteenth century” (Carolyn Gage). Cushman was a larger-than-life, charismatic, commanding figure, famed for her “breeches” roles, who was not shy about her sexuality, her life, or her death. Confronted with her own mortality as she battled breast cancer, Gage’s Cushman offers insights into her relationships and her work, quoting some of her most memorable roles, in a work that is “Electrifying…enormously entertaining, absorbing, and brutally honest” (The Sunday Mail, Adelaide, Australia).
The Belle of Amherst is a one-woman play by William Luce. Based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson from 1830 to 1886, and set in her Amherst, Massachusetts home, the 1976 play makes use of her work, diaries, and letters to recollect her encounters with the significant people in her life – family, close friends, and acquaintances. It balances the agony of her seclusion with the brief bright moments when she was able to experience some joy.