The Belle of Amherst by William Luce
Critically acclaimed one-woman play depicting the life of 19th Century poet Emily Dickinson with Kathleen Recchia
A Benefit for Town of Jay Hurricane Irene Victims www.HelpJayNY.org
December 10th at 7pm
Suggested donation 10.00
For more information call: 518-946-8323
Original direction by Tyler Nye; Roduced by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Underwritten, in part, by BluSeed Studios, The Book & Blanket B&B and Ward Lumber
Play Celebrating One of America’s Greatest Nature Poets to be
Performed as a Fundraiser for Survivors of Tropical Storm Irene
SARANAC LAKE, NY—“Nature – the Gentlest Mother is,/Impatient of no Child – /The feeblest – or the waywardest – /Her Admonition mild.”
America’s foremost female poet, Emily Dickinson—like Wordsworth and the other great Romantics—is also one of the world’s greatest literary observers of nature. It seems especially fitting then that William Luce’s one-woman play celebrating the life and poetry of Dickinson, The Belle of Amherst, will be presented in a special performance benefiting residents of the Town of Jay who experienced the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Irene—a moment frozen in time, when Mother Nature was neither gentle nor patient nor her “admonition” mild.
The show, which will take place at 7 pm, Saturday, December 10th—Emily Dickinson’s 181st birthday—at BluSeed Studios, 24 Cedar Street (off NYS Route 86), Saranac Lake, features Kathleen Recchia, reprising a role she has performed and toured to such New York State venues as the Kent-Delord House Museum in Plattsburgh and the Bridge Theater in Whitehall, to considerable acclaim.
Of her performance at the Old Mill Art Studio in Elizabethtown, Tim Palkovic, former Chair of the SUNY Plattsburgh Theatre Department wrote, “One of the deep pleasures of theatre is getting lost in that zone between the actor and the character. I could not distinguish what was you and what was the characterization. You took me to a sacred place; a profound pleasure for me.”
The suggested donation for the performance is $10 per person, and all proceeds from the evening will go to the Jay Flood Relief Fund, which can also be accessed at www.HelpJayNY.org, where additional tax-deductible donations can be made. The performance is underwritten, in part, by BluSeed Studios, The Book & Blanket Bed & Breakfast in Jay, and Ward Lumber of Jay and Malone, NY.
Seeking to Build on the Outpouring of Volunteer Help and Donations
The performance of The Belle of Amherst is the latest in a series of fundraising events initiated by or done in association with the Jay Flood Relief Committee (JFRC), a group of residents from the Towns of Jay and Keene who have volunteered their time to respond to the needs of their neighbors in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the subsequent flooding.
The committee is an outgrowth of work that began immediately after the storm, including community kitchens at the Brookside Motor Inn in Upper Jay and the Town of Jay Community Center in Au Sable Forks that provided meals for area residents who lost power or were flooded out of their homes and a town-wide firewood drive. Once the committee formed, it helped encourage the establishment of the Jay Flood Relief Fund, which is administered by Adirondack Community Trust (ACT) via Network for Good (in addition to online contributions at www.HelpJayNY.org, tax-deductible donations can also be made via checks mailed to: Adirondack Community Trust, P.O. Box 288, Lake Placid NY 12946).
Since the disaster struck, the JFRC has helped raise thousands of dollars through such events as an acoustic concert held at the Amos and Julia Ward Theatre in Jay, sponsored by the Jay Entertainment & Music Society (JEMS); an outdoor pig roast at the Brookside Motor Inn; and a concert at Upper Jay’s newest venue, The Church.
Funds have already begun to be disbursed to people most affected by the storm, via a committee set up by the Town of Jay. However, the concern remains that, given the extent of the damage and the time of year, more financial help is needed to help flood survivors rebuild or explore other available options for putting their lives back together.
“People have been incredibly generous—both in terms of the outpouring of volunteer help we saw right after the storm and in reaching down deep into their pockets to donate whatever they could,” said JFRC member Eric Klotzko. “But the need is still there. The Township of Jay sustained the greatest amount of devastation, by far, among all towns in Essex County and is up there among the hardest-hit communities in New York State—with damage estimates in the millions. And now winter is at our doorstep.”
One hope is that, with events such as the performance of The Belle of Amherst in Saranac Lake, people in the wider North Country community who may not have already donated to the fund or supported one of the previous events, will attend the show and/or consider making a direct donation to the Jay Flood Relief Fund.
“The Town of Jay is one of the most beautiful communities in the New York State, with wonderful cultural and recreational attributes and—like so many towns in the North Country—truly wonderful people,” said Heather Morgan, another committee member. “We’re just asking for a little more help to make our town whole again.”
To explore ways you can help in the recovery effort or for more information on the JFRC, please e-mail the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Eric Klotzko at (518) 946-7655 or email@example.com or Jay Ward at (518) 524-0545 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on The Belle of Amherst performance at BluSeed Studios, please contact Fred Balzac at (518) 946-8323 or email@example.com.