The Belle of Amherst

An Outstanding One Woman Play


The Belle of Amherst is a one-woman play by  William Luce based on the life of poet Emily Dickinson, set in her Amherst, Massachusetts home during 1830 to 1886.  The play uses the details of her letters, work and diaries to reminisce about her life and encounters with family, close friends, and acquaintances.

Kate Fry is remarkable and amazing in her portrayal of Emily. She was able to portray the anguish, pain, joy and the obscure seclusion Dickinson experience coupled with her fleeting moments reminiscing about her past. She captured Emily isolation to perfection and her witty humor mixed with a strange to bizarre behavior bordered on the psychotic paranoia of her life. This is a very difficult performance and a play that can lose its audience but Fry is phenomenal. Her ability to become any character brings life to The Belle of Amherst that few actresses could bring. 

Frye interaction with numerous characters including Emily’s sister, brother, father and her mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson which she seems to have a one-sided love affair with despite the fact that she only spoke to him twice within twenty years.

Director Sean Graney called Emily Dickinson work, “One of the geniuses of American literature,” and he delivered a true to life script on a play he fell in love with at first reading from his college days.

At the end of the performance, we got a chance to enjoy Emily’s famous black cake with nineteen eggs.

It is said that Dickinson only published seven poems during her lifetime, but her life lives on gloriously in theater via amazing performance as seen at The Court Theatre.

The Cast Includes:

Solo Performer: Kate Fry (Emily Dickinson)

Court Theatre Presents

The Belle Of Amherst

By William Luce

Directed by Sean Graney

Filed under: ChicagoNow

Leave a comment