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YOURS, ISABELLA: a play by Ulrika Brand Open Rehearsal for Senior Viewing

April 4 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Drop into Wistariahurst Museum this spring to enjoy Yours, Isabella, the dramatic reading of a new play about museum founder Isabella Stewart Gardner written by Ulrika Brand. To be performed by professional actors and UMass Amherst theater students, Yours, Isabella focuses on the life of Isabella Stewart Gardner from 1887 to 1903, beginning when she commissioned her portrait by John Singer Sargent and made her first major art purchases. The play also explores Gardner’s relationship with art advisor Bernard Berenson, showcasing their friendship and Berenson’s self-invention. In an era when women were expected to focus on domestic roles, Gardner defied norms by turning her home into a salon for artists and musicians, and building a museum in Boston that remains a magnificent cultural attraction.

“Ms. Brand’s play is a fascinating examination of the interplay between the passion for collecting and gender restrictions on women in the Gilded Age,” comments Monika Schmitter, Professor of Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Based on historical letters by Isabella Stewart Gardner and her art advisors, it vividly portrays the sometimes unsavory dealings that led to the establishment of one of the country’s most famous and unique house museums.”

Stephanie Carlson leads the cast as Isabella Stewart Gardner, accompanied by Frank Aronson, Carolyn Cooper, Rebecca Hicks, Michael Jay, Kimberly Salditt Poulin, Kitty Ryan, and Cole Seitz. This event is free and open to the public, supported by a grant from the Holyoke Local Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

On Thursday, April 4 at 3 pm an Open Rehearsal welcomes seniors. If tickets sell out, drop ins are welcome.