Professional actors bring classic short stories to life!
Enjoy summer afternoons on The Mount’s view-rich Terrace while listening to professional actors read Edith Wharton short stories. Wine and other light refreshments will be served.
Seating on the terrace is limited and must be reserved online in advance. Seating will begin at 5:00 pm for café service and readings will begin at 5:30 pm.
Aug. 19 – “The Mission of Jane” read by Sally Jane Heit
Originally published in Harper’s Magazine in December 1902 and collected in The Descent of Man and Other Stories (Scribner’s, 1904), “The Mission of Jane” is a wry commentary on the power of a child to bring both dissention and unity to a dull marriage.
Read for us by the talented Sally Jane Heit. Heit has had a long and successful career on Broadway, off Broadway, in movies, and in television. A few highlights include lead roles in Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Company, and Kiss Me Kate. Today, she tours the country with a one-woman show, giving back to causes close to her heart by donating performances to theaters, universities, conferences, and community organizations.
Sally-Jane is a Wednesday Shorts regular, and we are absolutely thrilled to have her back to read her favorite Wharton short story, “The Mission of Jane.”
Aug. 26 – “Expiation” read by TBD
This story, a satire about authorship, appeared in Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan magazine in December 1903, two years before the publication of The House of Mirth, as Margaret Drabble notes, so Wharton “had not yet enjoyed or endured the experience of finding herself a famous author, although the story shows that she had armed herself against it.” This time out, the novel written by the lead character of Wharton’s story is preparing herself eagerly and nervously for the possibility that the story will be a “succès de scandale.” What happens instead is the stuff of comedy.
Sept. 2 – “Mrs. Manstey’s View” read by TBD
Published in Scribner’s Magazine in July 1891, “Mrs. Manstey’s View” was Wharton’s first published work of fiction. The story pits the sensitive Mrs. Manstey, reveling in each blossom and small triumph of nature, against the forces of materialism and greed. The biographer R. W. B. Lewis calls it an “imaginative escape.”
Sept. 9 – “The Quicksand” read by Mary Anne Grammer
First published in Harper’s Magazine in June 1904, The Quicksand concerns a difficult decision made by Mrs. Quentin. She must renounce her own life in persuading per prospective daughter-in-law not to make the mistake she has made earlier. O.H. Dunbar notes Edith Wharton begins “where most writers leave off.”
Mary Anne Grammer is a regular performer with the Sandisfield Players with roles in their productions of Macbeth, Our Town, and A Christmas Carol. She also was in an original play by Val Coleman, “The Stamp Collection”. Currently she continues to perform with The Sandisfield Players under the direction of Ben Luxon, sings with the Grace Church choir in Great Barrington every Sunday and is continuing to write a play, “Cold, Naked, Yoga.”
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email, email@example.com, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.