SELF-SACRIFICE: a timely gesture from Metropolitan Virtual Playhouse on 11/21/20
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:28 am EST 11/17/20

33rd week of live performances features William Dean Howells

by William Dean Howells

A comedy of near misses and deep connection from the Dean of American Letters

November 21st, 2020 at 8 PM

The groundbreaking reading series continues as Obie Award winner Metropolitan Playhouse presents its next free "screened" reading, live-streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: SELF-SACRFICE, by WILLIAM DEAN HOWESLLS.

11/21/2020 at 8 PM Eastern
Running Time: 30 minutes
Free of charge
Available at: www.metropolitanplayhouse.org
The video will be available through Wednesday, 11/25/20
on the Playhouse webpage, the Metropolitan Playhouse
YouTube channel, and the Metropolitan Playhouse
Facebook page.

Isobel Ramsey sets out to shame the man she loves for spending so much time with her when she hears from a meddlesome friend that he is engaged to another woman. She adopts the most dissolute habits she can conceive--drinking, smoking, speaking coarsely!--and is less well equipped for one than the last. Only when the truth comes out--that she has had his heart and hand all along--can the hard conflict between true love and moral duty be revealed by this giddy comedy. Whimsy seemed to rule William Dean Howells's plays, but as he mocks the battle between love and duty, he more trenchantly skewers facades raised in the name of society and the dangerous insistence of romantic delusions.

Discussion including audience participation follows the reading.

Directed by John Long, the cast includes Viena Aiello, Taylor Alden, Dylan Brown, and Kim Fischer. Background settings by Martha O'Connell.

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS (1837 - 1920), was a novelist, critic, poet, and playwright, known as The Dean of American Letters. Born in Ohio, his early career included a clerkship in the state House of Representatives before he turned to journalism. After writing the campaign biography LIFE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1860), he was given a consulship in Venice, and on his return to America, he settled in Cambridge, MA, and began his ascent to literary prominence. Writing for Harpers and the Atlantic, he became editor of the latter in 1871. His dramas tended to the farcical, or self-proclaimedly melodramatic. But he established himself as a literary critic, as well, and was a proponent of "Realism" in literature, championing the works of such up and coming figures as Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Abraham Cahan, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Paul Laurence Dunbar. In 1904, he was one of the seven first inductees to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he later became president.


Metropolitan presents readings every Saturday at 8 pm, Eastern Time

The VIRTUAL PLAYHOUSE began on March 28, 2020, and has been simultaneously broadcast on New York's Pacifica Radio Station WBAI, 99.5 FM since April 11. Exploring the possibilities of ""remote"" ensemble, Metropolitan has pushed the envelope of Zoom broadcasts, with increasingly sophisticated virtual settings and sound design. Each reading is enhanced by conversation with the artists and a guest scholar for an hour-long live entertainment every Saturday night. Reaching an audience across the country and around the globe, the presentation of the forgotten one-act plays is an ideal way to pursue the theater's mission exploring America's diverse theatrical history.

METROPOLITAN PLAYHOUSE, in its 29th season, explores America’s diverse theatrical heritage through lost plays of the past and new plays of American historical and cultural moment. The theater received a 2011 OBIE Grant from The Village Voice for its ongoing productions that illuminate who we are by revealing where we have come from. Called ""invaluable"" by the Voice, Backstage and Talkin' Broadway, Metropolitan has earned further accolades from The New York Times and The New Yorker. Other awards include a Victorian Society of New York Outstanding Performing Arts Group, 3 Aggie Awards from Gay City News, 21 nominations for NYIT Awards (3 winners), and 6 AUDELCO Viv Award nominations.

The Playhouse's virtual readings serve to help us compensate performing artists, so particularly hurt during this long ""pause."" Information about the theater's ARTISTS RELIEF FUND may be found at www.metropolitanplayhouse.org/covidaid
Link http://www.metropolitanplayhouse.org

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