It’s always beneficial to find ways to celebrate the great writers of centuries past, but even more interesting to find new and unique avenues to delve into the mind of one from the comfort of your own home, and not even virtually.
EgoPo, the Classical Theater based in the city has announced an extension of its five-week mail event, “Emily”, a world premiere theatrical experience that brings Emily Dickinson’s life and work directly to your mailbox through 13 letters, packages and correspondences. The first round of letters was a success and sold out within two weeks, so to fuel the need for more literary pen-pals, EgoPo has added a second edition of the event which kicks off later this week on Oct. 26th.
This series of letters, drawings, and artifacts was created by Brenna Geffers, who directed the Philadelphia Barrymore-recommended production of “Fool for Love” during EgoPo’s 2019-2020 Shepard Country Season, and designer Natalia de la Torre, who was previously nominated for the 2019 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Costume Design for Geffers’ production of “Three Sisters Two” at EgoPo. Both Geffers and de la Torre wanted to combat the need for more creativity during the pandemic as well as find a way to bring one almost mysterious literary presence to life in a new format that has never been done before. The parallels between Dickinson and what Philadelphians in 2020 are feeling are found to be quite similar, but still, the creators feel strongly that Dickinson’s enigma is not what we once thought.
“I grew up learning about a meek woman who was too shy to share her art with the world. I found this to be a frustrating story when I was young and so never really delved into Emily Dickinson’s work. Being sheltered this year made me curious about this ‘Patron Saint of Solitude.’ After reading some of her letters, I realized how very wrong this image is of her. We have taken this human being and distilled her down to a simple and palatable shadow of herself. It’s been fascinating to see her own work dispel this shadow,” said Geffers in a statement.
The release itself also gives quite a picture of what the main aim is for this new mailing event: “Emily Dickinson is famous for her solitary lifestyle. The story of how she timidly hid away her poetry was fashioned by editors that did not want to acknowledge the radical thinker she truly was. In this limited edition, at-home event Emily reaches out to you personally through the mail over the course of five weeks.”
Over the course of five weeks, every few days, participants will receive a new correspondence from Emily inviting you into her life. The series will rotate between letters, custom art and highly personal objects which all come directly to your door, asking you to delve into her mind and find a new way to look at one literary legacy.
The Emily extension begins mailings on October 26th and is limited to 100 households. Tickets can be purchased online as a single household for $50 or as part of a full subscription for $100 for all four of EgoPo’s 2020-2021 Isolations season, “radically intimate” theatrical events experienced during the age of COVID-19 social isolation.