CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

2020 Winner, Rising Artist Playwriting Award
Winner, 1st Place Henley Rose Award
Selected for NEWvember Festival Dublin
Semifinalist, O'Neill NPC
Top 25 Plays, Panndora's Box
Included in THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2022 and other honors

(Full length) A fresh, theatrical take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two...
2020 Winner, Rising Artist Playwriting Award
Winner, 1st Place Henley Rose Award
Selected for NEWvember Festival Dublin
Semifinalist, O'Neill NPC
Top 25 Plays, Panndora's Box
Included in THE BEST WOMEN'S STAGE MONOLOGUES 2022 and other honors

(Full length) A fresh, theatrical take on the Brontë sisters, intertwining Charlotte Brontë's two years as an unpublished young woman at a Belgian school--where she became close to her married tutor/employer, Monsieur Heger--with biographer Mrs. Gaskell's struggle to salvage Charlotte's posthumous reputation and feminist novels. In Victorian England the novels of recently deceased author Charlotte Brontë are now widely banned for being too passionate. Her literary friend Mrs. Gaskell intends to prove that Charlotte was innocent and her reclusive life, blameless. But when an alarming letter arrives from Brussels, Mrs. Gaskell feels forced to investigate just how much of Charlotte's novels--including the bestselling but scandalous JANE EYRE--was based on her own life. As Mrs. Gaskell delves reluctantly into Charlotte'e past, we see Charlotte and her sister Emily (future author of WUTHERING HEIGHTS) at the Belgian school of Madame and Monsieur Heger and the unfolding of events that would transform Charlotte into the author of the most enduring love story of all time. A play about love, friendship, and the making--and unmaking--of art and identity.
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

CHARLOTTE'S LETTERS

Recommended by

  • Rachel Feeny-Williams:
    14 Jul. 2021
    I've never known a great deal about the Brontë sisters but this piece opened my eyes a new, which is always a great thing for theatre. Taking this interesting new perspective and drawing the audience in so that you can't help but want to know more. By the end I found myself wanting to research more about the sisters! A very well done piece.
  • 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.

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
    ,
    Attic Salt Theatre
    ,
    2021
  • Reading
    ,
    Yellow Rose Productions
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    AboutFace Ireland/NEWvember Festival Dublin
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Irish Repertory Theatre
    ,
    2016

Awards

Selection
,
The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2022
,
Smith and Kraus
,
2022
Finalist
,
Lance Hewett Reading Series
,
Isle of Shoals Productions
,
2020
Winner
,
Rising Artist Playwriting Award
,
Attic Salt Theater Company
,
2020
Top 25 Plays, Panndora's Box New Works Festival
,
Panndora Productions
,
2019
Second Rounder
,
Austin Film Festival Playwriting Award
,
2018
Finalist
,
Talk Back Theatre
,
2018
Winner
,
Writer2Writer Award
,
AWP
,
2018
Winner
,
1st Place, Henley Rose Playwrights Award for Women
,
2018
Winner
,
NEWvember New Plays Festival Dublin
,
2017
Selection
,
New Works Series
,
Irish Repertory Theatre (NY)
,
2016
Shortlist
,
BETC Generations Award
,
2015