The Bedquilt by Dorothy Canfield Fisher & A Quilting Bee in Our Village by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Performed by Michèle LaRue
The Bedquilt—a program of two vibrant, vintage stories plus a revealing lecture —is performed exclusively by Michèle LaRue, a professional actress specializing in tales from America’s Gilded Age.
LaRue creates a dozen distinctive characters in her energetic and empathetic performance. These stories return us to a time when literature was written “for the ear,” she explains. “Before radio, family and friends made their own home entertainment—reading aloud by flickering candle, kerosene lamp, and gaslight. Today, only the lighting has changed: adult audiences still hang on every word. Despite TV and films, the Internet and special effects, we still crave to simply listen to a tale well told.”
Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s The Bedquilt follows the suspenseful journey of an unlikely heroine: Aunt Mehetabel is a downtrodden, elderly spinster, taken for granted by her New England family. Otherwise unskilled, she is “clever in the way of patching bedquilts.” Mehetabel grows throughout the story, winning admiration and finding selfrespect, as she painstakingly devotes herself to the realization of her ideal: “a pattern beyond which no patchwork quilt could go.”
The Bedquilt, written by Canfield (later Fisher), in 1906, is introduced by the gleeful account of A Quilting Bee in Our Village, penned by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, eight years earlier. In Freeman’s little town, good food, gossip, and games make a successful bee—even when they go awry. LaRue concludes with Fisher’s surprising description of how she wrote The Bedquilt.
(Photo of Michèle LaRue, photo by Arthur Cohen.)
Come see a parade of mini-quilts on display in The Merc’s gallery. Vote on the People’s Choice Quilt.
DATES: Sat, Sept 24, 7pm, Sun, Sept 25, 2pm. Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time. TICKETS: $5-$18, available online up to one hour before show time, and at the door. Limited reserve seating available with online purchase only. INFO/LOCATION: The Merc Playhouse, 101 S. Glover St, Twisp, Wa. www.mercplayhouse.org, 509-997-7529.