Branwell (and the other Brontes): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Bronte

Branwell Brontë has always been desperate to keep up with his brilliant sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. On his deathbed, the sisters use the magic of worlds created when they were children to keep them all distracted from the harsh reality of not only Branwell’s impending death, but the sisters’ recent literary successes – each has had a novel published. But the family discovers that the thing they love...
Branwell Brontë has always been desperate to keep up with his brilliant sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. On his deathbed, the sisters use the magic of worlds created when they were children to keep them all distracted from the harsh reality of not only Branwell’s impending death, but the sisters’ recent literary successes – each has had a novel published. But the family discovers that the thing they love best and are best at, creating stories, is sometimes the very thing that causes the greatest destruction.

Though set in the past, Branwell (and the other Brontës): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Brontë is about how, throughout time, we tell and use stories and fantasy to deal with our realities. It explores the pain and necessity of creation when encountering grief and loss.
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Branwell (and the other Brontes): an autobiography edited by Charlotte Bronte

Recommended by

  • Donna Gordon:
    18 Apr. 2020
    This is a most original look at the iconic Bronte's. By using a perspective including their one brother, a surprisingly intimate look at the sisters is achieved. The Bronte's played games like this, I'm sure, and included their dead sisters as a tribute. That would be very Victorian. Keeping suspense and a rollicking rhythm suits a tale for children and adults alike. History has never been so playful.
  • Dave Osmundsen:
    28 Mar. 2020
    An arresting and theatrical examination of the Bronte siblings. While the Bronte mythos is literary legend, Stephen Kaplan manages to make the Brontes seem like real people rather than stodgy historical figures. There is a complex and desperate humanity to them, especially Branwell, who wants to be on the same level with his sisters but knows that he will never reach their level. With characters such as these, this is an incredibly actor-friendly script, Emily's character-shifting monologue being a highlight. I can imagine sound and lighting designers having fun on this play, too. Bravo!
  • Chelsea Frandsen:
    24 Mar. 2020
    The Brontes have always fascinated me and this heart-wrenching look at the siblings is fantastic! It's moving and bittersweet with strong historical male and female characters any theatre artist would love portraying. Perfect for high school and college seasons, I'd love to see this on it's feet. Thank you Kaplan for taking me on this amazing journey!

Character Information

  • Charlotte Brontë
    Any
    ,
    Female
    the ringleader and one who likes to be in charge
  • Emily Brontë
    Female
    strident and does not like being bossed around, thinks herself above her siblings
  • Anne Brontë
    Female
    the baby of the family, the peacekeeper
  • Branwell Brontë
    Male
    lost, desperate to hold his own among his sisters
  • Maria Brontë
    11,
    Female
    originally the eldest Brontë, died years earlier and a ghost – acted as a surrogate mother to her younger brother Branwell, and still cherishes that role
  • Elizabeth Brontë
    10,
    Female
    originally the second eldest Brontë, also died earlier and a ghost – over it all and does not want to be there

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Writer's Theatre of New Jersey
    ,
    2018
  • Workshop
    ,
    The Blank Theatre Company - Living Room Series
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    The Tribe Theater Company
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Point Park University
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Unseen and Unheard - Mason Holdings
    ,
    2016

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
O'Neill Theatre Festival
,
2017