A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

She Talks to Beethoven

Short Play, Drama  /  1f, 1m

After the sudden and mysterious disappearance of Suzanne Alexander's husband, she seeks solace in the spirit of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven, whose letters she has been studying.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 1m
  • Duration
    Duration
    30 minutes
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Experimental
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult
Licence details
  • Minimum Fee: £30 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.

Details

Summary
She Talks to Beethoven, written by pioneering avant-garde playwright Adrienne Kennedy in 1989, offers a layered discourse on politics, revolution and loss. Set in Ghana, Suzanne waits in her room listening to radio broadcasts about her husband who has mysteriously disappeared while she attempts to write about and communicate with composer Ludwig van Beethoven.  Her world is infiltrated by snatches of Ghanaian string music, the revolutionary words of Frantz Fanon and strains of Beethoven's Fidelio. Suzanne, recovering from an unspecified illness hovers in displaced time and space fluctuating between Vienna, Austria, in 1803, and Accra, Ghana, in 1961.
History
First produced by River Arts in Woodstock, New York, and directed by Clinton Turner Davis in June 1989.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
SUZANNE ALEXANDER - A Writer

The music in the piece should equal in length with the text. Anonymous diary entries are from actual sources.
  • Time Period 1960s, 18th Century
  • Setting Accra, Ghana, in 1961, soon after independence.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 30 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes

Media

"To many, Ms. Kennedy has blended the surreal and the social to invent a new dramatic form." - The New York Times

"
[Kennedy creates] “hauntingly fragmentary lyrical dramas [that powerfully explore] the violence racism visits on people’s lives.” - Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

ON BREAKING CHARACTER

Scene Study and Classroom Reading: Plays for Colleges and Universities
by Becca Schlossberg
August 23, 2019

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Authors

Adrienne Kennedy

Award-winning playwright, lecturer and author Adrienne Kennedy was born in Pittsburgh in 1931 and attended Ohio State University. Her plays include Funnyhouse of a Negro (Obie Award, Petit Odeon directed by Jean Marie Serreau), June and Jean in Concert (Obie Award), Sun (Comm ...

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