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Saturday, October 07, 2006

After Mrs Rochester in Pennsylvania

Polly Teale's play After Mrs Rochester is playing at the Quantum Theatre at Braddock Carnegie Library, 419 Library St., Braddock, Pennsylvania Through Oct. 22; Wed.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 7 p.m.

Identifying with her, sympathizing with her, Rhys writes "Wide Sargasso Sea," fusing bits of her own life and pain with Bronte's shadowy wretch.

Playwright and theater artist Polly Teale and the company Shared Experience imagine Rhys further into Bronte's world in "After Mrs Rochester." Scenes of Rhys' life are interspersed with scenes from "Jane Eyre." Rhys becomes a character who uses writing to exorcize her demons, but they leave her only briefly and never venture far. The "madwoman" that plagues Rhys lives alongside her, sometimes ignored, sometimes acknowledged, ever present.

Quantum Theatre stages "After Mrs Rochester" in the Music Hall of the baronial Braddock Carnegie Library. The space hovers between disrepair and renovation, modern and historic, the old and new sitting side-by-side, not always comfortably, much like Rhys herself and certainly like her writing, which is hailed now as drastically ahead of its time.

Tickets are $24-$27; $15 students. To order call: 412-394-3353.

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