Come enjoy all three as Hudson Chorale proudly
invites you to its 2014 benefit event: a concert staging of My
Business Is to Sing! by local playwright Barbara Dana on Saturday, April 5th, 2014, at
7:30 pm at the Chappaqua Library Theater, 195 South Greeley Avenue,
Chappaqua, New York. You won’t want to
miss this opportunity to become more acquainted with one of America’s most
beloved poets. This new play, which
explores the life, letters, and poems of Emily Dickinson, is directed by Anthony
Arkin and features mezzo-soprano Kathleen Shimeta and Tony Award nominee Amelia
Campbell as Emily. The music is by Martin
Hennessy with additional song settings by Aaron Copland, Drew Hemenger, Michael
Conley and others.
author Barbara Dana has had an enduring interest in Emily Dickinson. A Westchester resident and Hudson Chorale member,
Ms. Dana has been studying the poet for over fifteen years and is the author of
two books related to Dickinson: A Voice
of Her Own: Becoming Emily Dickinson (a novel), and Wider than the Sky: Essays and Meditations on the Healing Power of
Emily Dickinson, of which she is co-editor.
Dana admires Dickinson as a person who had strong inner convictions
about what was true and was willing to surmount tremendous odds to hold onto
that truth and express it in her writing.
The poet also suffered from both physical and psychological issues and
fears that at the time were not understood and for which there were no
treatments available. The result is that
Dickinson’s work was well ahead of its time because she refused to let go of
her own voice. This is particularly
notable when you consider she lived in Puritan New England where women writers
were essentially non-existent.
Business is to Sing!, forty year-old Emily is now a recluse. Close to 1,800 of her poems are in the bottom
drawer of her bureau and less than a handful of them have been published. Having awakened from a disturbing dream, she
must confront her own mortality as she searches through her diary for some
sense of meaning to her life. There is
no evidence that Emily Dickinson ever kept a diary, but if she did, Dana gives
us an idea of the thoughts and events that it might have contained.
An actor as well
as an author, Barbara Dana has been playing Emily Dickinson in The Belle of Amherst by William Luce for
the last several years in the US and Canada.
Friends of Hudson Chorale may remember her electrifying performance in
Luce’s one-woman play when she brought Emily to life on the same stage in
Chappaqua four years ago. A member of
the audience that evening remarked, I go
to the theater in New York all the time, but I have to say that there is no
theater in all the world where I would rather have been this evening than right
here in Chappaqua. With Dana behind the scenes this time, Hudson
Chorale promises another sensational evening with Emily on April 5th.
from the event benefit Hudson Chorale, the area’s largest not-for-profit
community chorus which provides outstanding choral concerts in conveniently
located central Westchester venues.
Tickets for the play and the reception which follows are $60 and can be
purchased by phone or at the door. For tickets or more information, call 914-332-0133. Visit the chorus online at www.hudsonchorale.org.