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Reviving "The Scarlet Letter"

The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance presents the cherished classic The Scarlet Letter, November 16 – December 7 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre. Adapted for the stage by emerging playwright Sarah Saltwick, this world premiere brings Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tragic love story to life.

Playwright Sarah Saltwick began reimagining The Scarlet Letter for the stage over a year ago. “There are moments of beauty and pain in the story. And often the characters feel lost and making the right choice seems impossible,” says Saltwick. “I hope audiences will be pulled in by the adventure and mystery of the play, and this will reignite their interest in Hawthorne’s rich text."

Young girl with flowers staring at man
Cara Spradling as "Pearl" and Cody Edgar as "Governor Bellingham"
Photo: Lawrence Peart

Saltwick is a playwriting and fiction Michener Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been presented, developed, or produced by Paper Chairs Theatre Company, Scriptworks, WordBRIDGE, Bristol Riverside Theater, Shrewd Productions, Last Frontier Theatre Conference, and Moving Arts.

Presented with the opportunity to collaborate with Saltwick in the play’s development, director Steven Wilson jumped on the opportunity. He explains, “There are many themes in the novel that ring true today. Humans casting judgment on others and the dangers that lie with those judgments are universal. My interest lies in taking this canonical novel and bringing it to the stage in an active and compelling way.”

Wilson is a master of fine arts candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. His work has been seen in Austin (The Transition of Doodle Pequeño), Dallas, Pittsburgh and Chicago. He is a company member of The Hypocrites and an artistic associate of A Red Orchid Theatre.

The Scarlet Letter stars Austin resident Cara Spradling, making her UT debut in the key role of “Pearl”, the protagonist’s daughter. A fifth grade student at Kiker Elementary School, Spradling has performed in Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker (2010-2012).

CAMPUS & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EVENTS:

“A” is for _______: Filling in the Blanks and Leaving Empty Spaces in The Scarlet Letter
November 18 and December 2 at 3:45 p.m. at the B. Iden Payne Theatre

Audience members are invited to a post performance discussion with the playwright, director and members of the cast, exploring the process of bringing Hawthorne’s novel to the stage.

* These events are open to patrons of The Scarlet Letter.

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

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