CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

2020 Rising Artists Winner / 1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin Winner / O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors

(Full length) A fresh take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years as an unpublished young woman at a Belgian school--where she became increasingly close to her married tutor and employer, Monsieur Heger--with biographer Mrs....
2020 Rising Artists Winner / 1st Place Henley Rose Award / NEWvember Festival Dublin Winner / O'Neill Semifinalist and other honors

(Full length) A fresh take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years as an unpublished young woman at a Belgian school--where she became increasingly close to her married tutor and employer, Monsieur Heger--with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and trailblazing but scandalous novels including JANE EYRE. A play about love, friendship, and the making of art and identity.
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CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

Recommended by

  • Claudia Haas:
    30 Jan. 2020
    A gorgeous layered play about love, duty, and memory. I was hooked from the lyrical opening through the end. What does a biographer owe her subject? Absolute truth (warts & all) or a truth ensconced in the mores of the times? I loved the mixture of “duties” required by Charlotte to family, work, and her calling combined with Gaskell’s duty as biographer and protector-of-reputation. There is irony that while Gaskell cleansed Chatlotte’s reputation, she also preserved it. O’Grady seamlessly puts together a story of complicated women navigating a time that was not kind to them.
  • Bryan Stubbles:
    21 Dec. 2019
    If you're really into the Brontë sisters, you're gonna love this play.
  • Doug DeVita:
    22 Nov. 2019
    Oh, how I love this play. As a fan of 19th century British literature, and the Brontës in particular, reading this was a treat. Elegantly written and beautifully spare, O'Grady captures both Charlotte Brontë's spirit and character, and puts forth her supposition regarding the genesis of "Jane Eyre" with remarkable clarity and a sure sense of the dramatic, licenses notwithstanding. A superb, magical, wonderful work.

Character Information

  • Charlotte Brontë (pronounced BRON-tee)
    20s.,
    British.
  • Monsieur Heger (pronounced Ay-ZHAY)
    30s.,
    Belgian.
    Teacher of Literature and Writing.
  • Mrs. Gaskell
    40s.,
    British.
    A novelist.
  • Meta Gaskell (pronounced MEE-ta)
    19,
    British.
    Mrs. Gaskell's daughter.
  • Emily Brontë
    20s.,
    British.
    Charlotte's sister
  • Madame Heger
    30s,
    Belgian.
    School directress. Heger's wife.
  • Woman
    Late teens/20s,
    Belgian
    Plays Belgian Maid, Servant, Pupil's Voice, Louise.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Yellow Rose Productions/Henley Rose Playwright Award (1st Place)
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    AboutFace Ireland/NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Irish Repertory Theatre (NYC)
    ,
    2016

Awards

Finalist
,
Lance Hewett Reading Series
,
Isle of Shoals Productions Inc.
,
2020
Winner
,
Rising Artist Playwriting Award
,
Attic Salt Theatre Company
,
2020
Top 25 Plays, Pandora's Box New Works Festival
,
2019
Winner
,
(1st Place), Henley Rose Playwrights Award
,
Yellow Rose Productions
,
2018
Second Rounder
,
Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award
,
2018
Shortlist
,
Talk Back Theatre
,
2018
Winner
,
NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin
,
2017
Selection
,
New Works Series
,
Irish Repertory Theatre
,
2016
Semi-Finalist
,
Generations Award
,
Boulder Ensemble Theater Company (BETC)