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    THEATRE

    The Man in the Newspaper Hat

    Presented by at Eclectic Theater

    November 17-December 17, 2011

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    The Man in the Newspaper Hat

    The Man in the Newspaper Hat, inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Visits to St. Elizabeths”, is a fictional dramatization of the meetings between two polar opposite artistic temperaments, grandiose and infamous Ezra Pound and poets'-poet Elizabeth Bishop.

    Elizabeth Bishop, Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress 1949-50, visits Ezra Pound, father of modern American poetry, in the asylum of St. Elizabeths where he is...

    The Man in the Newspaper Hat, inspired by Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “Visits to St. Elizabeths”, is a fictional dramatization of the meetings between two polar opposite artistic temperaments, grandiose and infamous Ezra Pound and poets'-poet Elizabeth Bishop.

    Elizabeth Bishop, Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress 1949-50, visits Ezra Pound, father of modern American poetry, in the asylum of St. Elizabeths where he is remanded, declared unfit to stand trial for high treason for his pro-Fascist/anti-Semitic rants over Rome Radio during WWII.

    Over the course of one year, Bishop challenges Pound artist to artist in an effort to unearth the poet under the rubble of his political delusions. They become poetic sparring partners, and while Bishop doesn’t succeed in reclaiming him for her poetic lineage, she senses that the ground underneath his longheld convictions is shifting. The result is deeply disquieting and eerily moving.

    The production is dedicated to honoring the centennial of Elizabeth Bishop. The play also has Northwest ties in that Ezra Pound was born in Hailey, Idaho, and Bishop lectured at the UW in 1966, mentoring many NW poets.

    Presented by ManyTracks and Theater Lexicon

    Eclectic Theater

    1214 10th Ave.
    Seattle, WA 98122

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:
    $10-15


    General Day and Time Info:
    8:00 PM

    Phone: 206-679-3271


    Accessibility Info: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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    Media Reviews

    • Event Name: The Man in the Newspaper Hat
      Article: The Man in the Newspaper Hat by Hayley Heaton
      Capitol Hill Times/Drama In The Hood - Nov 19, 2011
      By Maria Bonfils

      The Man in the Newspaper Hat: Poets are not Nice People, opened at the Odd Duck Studio on Thursday Nov. 17. It recounts the conversations between the...
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      The Man in the Newspaper Hat: Poets are not Nice People, opened at the Odd Duck Studio on Thursday Nov. 17. It recounts the conversations between the great modernist poet Ezra Pound and poetess Elizabeth Bishop, while Pound was incarcerated in a military hospital in Washington DC, during his trial for treason. Pound supported not only innovation in literature but also innovation in politics; he supported the innovative politics of the 20th Century: Fascism.

      The conversations are mostly about Pound's literary theories and Bishop's attempts to reconcile his great contributions to literature with the mental illness which led him into anti-Semitism, Fascism, and totally destructive behavior. If this sounds boring, it wasn't due to the expert direction and superb acting, especially by David S. Klein, as Pound and Lisa Keeton as Elizabeth Bishop. David S. Klein particularly had the verbal dexterity to deliver the lines with panache. Although there was not much action, plot nor psychic movement, the play moves fairly swiftly. The dialogue was witty, the requisite comic timing was present in abundance and it was appropriately short. (75 minutes without intermission)

      Elizabeth Bishop is regarded as one of the finest 20th poets, who won many prizes but unlike Pound, kept a very low profile. Prior to his political activities, Pound was "an unofficial minister of culture who acted as mid-wife for new literary talent" in London and Paris, advancing the careers of great 20th Century innovators like T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Hemingway. Pound was also a polyglot who learned umpteen languages in order to discover the fundamental musicality of poetry. In addition, he was not exactly a nice person.

      The set designer and director made some very intelligent decisions about how to use the space. Odd Duck is notoriously difficult to work in and very small. A two person play which takes places in a confined prison cell was perfect for this space. The walls were painted an apple green color, a color which is known to make people relax. The authentic props-manual typewriters, an old-fashioned bed etc. were simple but evoked the era when frustrated writers did not just press delete, but had to tear the paper out of the typewriter, crumple it and throw it into the trash.

      As an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, I had the misfortune to share a house with some of the poets, prosers and poseurs from the Writer's Workshop. This play is a very realistic representation of the kind of egotistical conversation going around the dinner table whenever two or three writers are gathered together. But this play was more witty than the conversations of Jane Smiley's future literary agent.

      The Man in the Newspaper Hat: Poets are Not Nice People. By Hayley Heaton. Produced by Many Tracks & Theatre Lexicon in co-operation with Eclectic Theater Company. Thurs. Fri and Sat. 8 PM. Odd Duck Studio, 1214-10th Ave. Seattle, 98122
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    • Event Name: The Man in the Newspaper Hat
      Article: 2 pre-holiday shows definitely for adults, plus 1 for kids
      Seattle Times - Nov 18, 2011
      By Misha Berson

      Seattle theaters are staging "Reckless," "A Year with Frog and Toad" and "The Man in the Newspaper Hat" for those who aren't quite ready for the...
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      Seattle theaters are staging "Reckless," "A Year with Frog and Toad" and "The Man in the Newspaper Hat" for those who aren't quite ready for the onslaught of Christmas-themed theater.

      Before the Chistmas-y shows arrive by the sleighful, a smattering of Seattle theaters are mounting works that don't focus (well, not much anyway) on the winter holiday season. Opening this weekend:

      'The Man in

      the Newspaper Hat'

      "This is the time/of the tragic man/that lies in the house of Bedlam ... "

      Now here is a show that has nothing to do with fa-la-la-la-la or other holiday folderol. (As far as we know.)

      Inspired by the haunting Elizabeth Bishop poem "Visits to St. Elizabeths," Salt Lake City-bred author Hayley Heaton's play imagines encounters between the Pulitzer Prize-honored Bishop and fellow poet Ezra Pound at the Washington, D.C., mental institution where Pound was incarcerated for over a decade.

      A major American poet and translator, Pound broadcast anti-Semitic, pro-fascist diatribes over Italian radio during World War II. After the war, he was charged by the U.S. with treason but deemed mentally unfit for trial and committed to St. Elizabeths. (He finally won his release in 1958.)

      In this two-hander drama, Bishop (played by Lisa Keeton) and Pound (David S. Klein) lock horns in what Heaton terms "a pugilistic relationship, a clash of opposite artistic views of the world and temperaments."

      Katrin Hilbe directed the script's New York premiere, and now helms its Seattle debut at Odd Duck Studio on Capitol Hill.

      Through Dec. 17 at Odd Duck Studio, Seattle (800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com).
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