CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

2020 Rising Artist Playwriting Award / 1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin / O'Neill Semifinalist / Irish Rep's New Works Series / Top 25 Plays, Pandora's Box and other honors

(Full length) A fresh new take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years as a unpublished young woman at a Belgian school--where she became increasingly close...
2020 Rising Artist Playwriting Award / 1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin / O'Neill Semifinalist / Irish Rep's New Works Series / Top 25 Plays, Pandora's Box and other honors

(Full length) A fresh new take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years as a unpublished young woman at a Belgian school--where she became increasingly close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger--with her friend and biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and feminist novels. When an alarming letter arrives from Brussels, Mrs. Gaskell is forced to investigate just how much of Charlotte's books--including the bestselling but scandalous JANE EYRE--was based on her own life. A play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.
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CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

Recommended by

  • Christine Foster:
    22 Apr. 2021
    'All feelings are good. Including sadness'. Or so Charlotte tells the little daughter of her mentor in Brussels, a man she has come to love but can never have. O'Grady's is an elegant, insightful play about the inner life of the author of Jane Eyre and how she came to cope with her loneliness, her lack of life experience and her blighted opportunities with dignity and selflessness. The characters are warmly and delightfully drawn and the whole play is richly, if sadly, satisfying.
  • Lee R. Lawing:
    5 Apr. 2021
    Letters are so initiate and bring about such different emotions while holding them in hand. This is no different then O'Grady's play Charlotte's Letters. I love O'Grady's taking off some of the mystery to Charlotte Bronte as we sit and watch Elizabeth Gaskell's and her daughter piece together the life of someone so shy, but who like so many of us lived out life fully, and if not as she wanted entirely, because who knows what would happen to Charlotte in today's world, but who lived her life with such an eye on the world around her.
  • Catherine Rush:
    14 Mar. 2021
    Jennifer O'Grady deftly walks the line between biography and storytelling. The play is compelling, fascinating and beautifully written. No wonder it has garnered so many awards and accolades. I look forward to seeing it someday.

Character Information

  • Charlotte Brontë
    Mid-20s.,
    British.
  • Monsieur Heger
    Early 30s.,
    Belgian.
    Professor of literature.
  • Mrs. Gaskell
    46,
    British.
    A novelist.
  • Meta Gaskell (pronounced MEE-ta)
    19,
    British.
    Mrs. Gaskell's daughter.
  • Emily Brontë
    Early-mid 20s.,
    British.
    Charlotte's sister
  • Madame Heger
    Late 30s,
    Belgian.
    School directress and Heger's wife.
  • Woman
    Late teens/early 20s
    Plays Belgian Maid, Servant, Pupil's Voice, Louise.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    (Staged), Attic Salt Theatre /Rising Artist Playwriting Award
    ,
    2021
  • Reading
    ,
    (Filmed), Attic Salt Theatre Company/Rising Artist Playwriting Award
    ,
    2021
  • Reading
    ,
    Yellow Rose Productions/Henley Rose Award
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    AboutFace Ireland/NEWvember Festival Dublin
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Irish Repertory Theatre (NY), New Works Reading Series
    ,
    2016

Awards

Finalist
,
Lance Hewett Reading Series
,
Isle of Shoals Productions
,
2020
Winner
,
Rising Artist Playwriting Award
,
Attic Salt Theater Company
,
2020
Selection
,
World Premiere Club
,
Applause Theater & Cinema Books
,
2020
Top 25 Plays, Pandora's Box New Works Festival
,
2019
Second Rounder
,
Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award
,
2018
Finalist
,
Talk Back Theatre
,
2018
Winner
,
Writer2Writer
,
AWP
,
2018
Winner
,
(1st Place), Henley Rose Award
,
Yellow Rose Productions
,
2018
Winner
,
NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin
,
2017
Selection
,
New Works Series
,
Irish Repertory Theatre (NY)
,
2016
Shortlist, Generations Award
,
Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company
,
2015