2014 Programs

Belle of Amherst NYC logo
Mass. International Festival for the Arts logo

Saturday, November 1, 2014
The Belle of Amherst
starring Joely Richardson

LocationWestside Theatre Upstairs, 407 West 43rd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues, New York City

Time: 2 pm. The bus will leave Amherst for New York City at 8 am and leave New York City at the show’s conclusion (~4 pm) to return to Amherst.  There will be time for lunch on your own in New York before the show.

Fee$98 for Emily Dickinson Museum and MIFA members; $108 for non-members. The fee includes the theater ticket (regular value $79) and round-trip motorcoach transportation to the Westside Theater.  New York City area residents may join the group (without transportation) for $54.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is pleased to partner with the Massachusetts International Festival for the Arts (MIFA) for an excursion to an off-Broadway performance of The Belle of Amherst! William Luce’s acclaimed one-woman play returns to New York City this fall in a new production starring Joely Richardson and directed by Steve Cosson at the Westside Theater. The Belle of Amherst is produced by Don Gregory, who brought the original 1976 production to the stage.

In The Belle of Amherst, Emily Dickinson welcomes audiences into her lifelong Amherst Homestead in mid-19th century Massachusetts. Luce’s classic one-woman play weaves Dickinson’s poems and letters into an intimate portrait of one of America’s greatest and most prolific poets, mixing Dickinson’s encounters with close friends and family with the poet’s own, often amusing, observations. “Full of passion and poetry and heart” (New York Daily News), The Belle of Amherst illuminates a brilliant creative mind through the words she left behind.

Reservations: Advance registration and payment required by October 24; registration and payment made by October 15 will receive priority seating.  To reserve your place, please complete the on-line registration form.  Payment instructions will be sent with confirmation.  If you have questions, please call 413-542-8429 or e-mail edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org. The Massachusetts Festival of the Arts is also accepting reservations and payment at 413-540-0200.

Accessibility considerations:  Please note that the theater is located on the second floor and does not have an elevator.  The theater is accessible only by a flight of 21 stairs.


Joely Richardson

JOELY RICHARDSON (Emily Dickinson) began her illustrious her career in David Hare’s film Wetherby, for which she was nominated Best Newcomer at the Evening Standard Awards. She then went on to work on several esteemed theatre seasons, including The Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her next film, Peter Greenaway’s Drowning By Numbers became a cult classic and was followed by Sister My Sister, a performance that rightly earned her the Best Actress honors at the Valladolid Film Festival. Her UK breakout role was Ken Russell’s (who was best known for his pioneering television work) TV movie Lady Chatterley’s Lover, followed by Jim Brooks’ I’ll Do Anything. Disney’s live action 101 Dalmatians finally allowed her to reach a wider international audience. She followed this up with work in both Event Horizon and Under Heaven, the latter of which earned her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Joely’s US profile continued to broaden with substantial and very well-received work in the films Maybe Baby, opposite Hugh Laurie, and The Patriot, opposite Mel Gibson, but it wasn’t until her work in Nip/Tuck that she received the widespread attention (and two Golden Globe nominations) she’d rightfully earned. The last few years have brought a variety of great films, including The Last Mimzy; Anonymous, her second film with Roland Emmerich; Red Lights, opposite Robert De Niro; and David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She returned to her theatre roots in the plays Side Effects (garnering a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actress), The Lady From the Sea (garnering an Evening Standard Long List nomination for Best Actress), and Ivanov, opposite Ethan Hawke (earning an Outer Critic Circle nomination for Outstanding Actress). Last year, Joely appeared in the films Thanks for Sharing, opposite Tim Robbins, Mark Ruffalo, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and The Devil’s Violinist, opposite Jared Harris.

DON GREGORY (Producer) produced on Broadway My Fair Lady starring Rex Harrison; Camelot starring Richard Burton (and later Richard Harris); the award-winning Othello starring James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer, for which Mr. Gregory won a Tony Award; Clarence Darrow starring Henry Fonda; and the original production of The Belle of Amherst 38 years ago, for which Julie Harris won a Tony Award. Mr. Gregory also produced Dore Schary’s FDR with Robert Vaughn, which became a motion picture, and Paul Robeson starring James Earl Jones, which became a TV special after its Broadway run. His TV productions of “Clarence Darrow,” “The Belle of Amherst” and “Paul Robeson” won Christopher Awards. “Clarence Darrow” was also the recipient of the coveted Peabody and Emmy Awards.  He produced the national tour of La Cage Aux Folles and the 25th anniversary tour of The Belle of Amherst starring Julie Harris. Mr. Gregory began his career as an actor, but then switched to the entrepreneurial side of show business by not only naming, but launching New York’s Coffee House movement, one of the great incubators for new talent. He later joined the Agency of the Performing Arts rising to the post of Vice President responsible for such clients as Harry Belafonte, Bobby Darin, Rowan and Martin, Frank Gorshin and Red Buttons.  Mr. Gregory, an alumnus of the University of Connecticut, has been the Senior Advisor to the Fine Arts department of that University for the last 20 years. He is soon to produce a major motion picture of Harvey.