Brontë | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Brontë Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 7 2016

British playwright Polly Teale’s 2005 play about the Brontë sisters dramatizes lives that held little drama—and yet left such a mark. Patrick Brontë (John Arthur Lewis), an Irish clergyman, raised his children to know the value of literature. Despite this, the sisters question the value of art, asking, Why do we write? This is answered variously: Literature is a way to live the lives they weren’t allowed; Charlotte (Eleanor Katz) later insists that her writing was meant not to make life better, but to make it bearable. And there was much to bear: an alcoholic brother, the early loss of their mother and sisters, the sexist world of publishing. Rendered beautifully here is the way the worlds within the books (Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights) were as real to the sisters as anything else. And despite the multiple story lines and characters, the production is wisely simple, and the actors (however distracting the often inconsistent accents) are strong in their portrayal of this extraordinary family. —Suzanne Scanlon

Price: $24, seniors $19, students/children $14

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