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Coastal presents drama based on Bronte family

October 10, 2001

The Gales of March, a drama about the legendary Bronte sisters, will be presented Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. in the Edwards Theater at Coastal Carolina University. Admission is $5.

Written and directed by Lee Bollinger, assistant professor of English and journalism at Coastal, the play focuses on the last 15 months in the life of Charlotte Bronte, author of Jane Eyre. In a series of flashbacks, Charlotte, played by Coastal student Liz Farmer, recalls scenes from the often turbulent life she shared with her gifted siblings at Haworth Parsonage on England's West Yorkshire moors where their father was curate. Brief sketches drawn from Charlotte's memory convey a sense of the Bronte sisters' creative genius, which flourished even amid the sometimes bleak, repressive atmosphere of the countryside and the self-destructive behavior of their brother Branwell.

"The theme of The Gales of March has to do with the imaginative mind transcending the limits of the world one finds oneself living in," says Bollinger. The play was first produced as a dramatic reading in New York City, Portsmouth, N.H., Wellesley, Mass., and performed at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The cast also includes Coastal students Lisa Borne, Drake Conner, Daniel Morgan and Ann Virginia Winnard. Glenn Hanson of Coastal's Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Veteran Affairs plays the Rev. Bronte. Diann Herring Worrell is assistant director of the production and Kathleen Worrell is costume director. Special effects are by Carl Mueller and lighting design is by Holly Littlejohn.

Bollinger, who joined the Coastal faculty in 1999, is the author of 14 produced plays, many of them about women writers and activists. She earned a Ph.D. in journalism and mass communications from the University of South Carolina and has written extensively for newspapers, magazines and academic journals. She is a former editor of Augusta Today magazine.

For more information, call 349-2502.