Last night I saw the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production of “The Belle Of Amhearst,” a play by William Luce that uses the poets own words to weave a narrative that lets us spend an evening with the much-loved innovator of verse, Emily Dickinson. This is a one-woman show, and it is an amazing performance by Mandy Harper. This George Washington senior pours herself into the role and becomes Emily Dickinson for over 90 minutes. It’s quite a feat of theater, and something that should be witnessed by every patron of the arts in this town. Our video tonight is a brief snippet of the show.
Harper manages to act and embody the words of Dickinson. She does not merely recite them, instead making them come to life in a delightfully vibrant way. I’ve seen Mandy in CYAC shows for almost two years now, and it’s wonderful to see her shine like this. Kudos to director Dan Kehde for guiding this production to the stage.
You have three more chances to see “The Belle Of Amhearst,” February 9-11 at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers Street, Charleston. Produced by The Contemporary Youth Arts Company. Performances start at 8 PM. Tickets are ten dollars for adults, six dollars for students and seniors.