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STAGE TUBE: Yale Rep's DEAR ELIZABETH - Backstage and Highlights!


Yale Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of Sarah Ruhl's DEAR ELIZABETH, a play in letters from Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell and back again, directed by Les Waters, at Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street), November 30-December 22. Opening Night is tonight, December 6. The cast of DEAR ELIZABETH is Mary Beth Fisher and Jefferson Mays. Click below to go backstage with the stars, plus watch highlights from the show!

The production features scenic design by Adam Rigg, costumes by Maria Hooper, lighting by Russell H. Champa, sound by Bray Poor, projections by Hannah Wasileski, dramaturgy by Amy Boratko, and stage management by Kirstin Hodges.

Sarah Ruhl, one of the most celebrated and honored playwrights of her generation, returns to Yale Rep with the world premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH, chronicling the remarkable thirty-year friendship between two of the most celebrated and honored American poets of the 20th century: Elizabeth Bishop (Mary Beth Fisher) and Robert Lowell (Jefferson Mays). With postmarks from Maine to Key West, and as far away as London and South America, DEAR ELIZABETH is a lyrical and moving portrait of two lives that unfold in letters.

Mary Beth Fisher (ELIZABETH BISHOP) is making her Yale Rep debut. New credits include Frank's Home (Playwrights Horizons); Boy Gets Girl (Drama League Honoree, Drama Desk and Lucile Lortel nominations), The Radical Mystique, By the Sea... (Manhattan Theatre Club); The Night of the Iguana (Roundabout Theatre Company); and Extremities (Westside Arts). Chicago theatre credits include God of Carnage, The Seagull, Rock 'n' Roll, The Clean House, Dinner with Friends, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo, The Guys, Spinning into Butter, Light Up the Sky, Marvin's Room, Design for Living (Goodman Theatre); Dead Man's Cell Phone, The Dresser, The Memory of Water (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Angels in America, Three Tall Women, The Year of Magical Thinking (Joseph Jefferson Award), The Wild Duck, What the Butler Saw, Arcadia, Travesties (Court Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Laramie Project: Epilogue and The Little Dog Laughed (About Face Theatre). Television and film: Chicago Code, State of Romance (pilot), Without a Trace, Numb3rs, Prison Break, NYPD Blue, Profiler, Early Edition, Formosa Betrayed, Dragonfly, and Trauma. Ms. Fisher received the 2010 Chicago's Leading Lady Award from the Sarah Siddons Society and was named "Best Actress" in Chicago Magazine's "Best of Chicago" issue (August 2010). She is a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and a Beinecke Fellow at Yale School of Drama.

Jefferson Mays (Robert LoweLL) previously appeared at Yale Rep in The Beauty Part in 1992. Most recently, he appeared in the musical A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder at Hartford Stage. His Broadway credits include I Am My Own Wife, Journey's End, Pygmalion, The Best Man, and Of Thee I Sing; and Off-Broadway: Blood and Gifts, Measure for Measure, Quills, and Orestes. Regional credits include My Fair Lady, Quartermaine's Terms, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Misalliance, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Cherry Orchard, Peter Pan, She Stoops to Conquer, Tartuffe, Hamlet, Macbeth, Miss Julie, and Private Lives. Film and television credits include Alfie, Kinsey, Bettie Page, Cousin Bette, The Good Wife, MildrEd Pierce, Detroit 1-8-7, Lie to Me, Fringe, Law & Order, Nurse Jackie, and The Closer. He is the recipient of the Tony, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, OBIE (1994, 2004), Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, Theatre World, Drama League, Jefferson, and Sir Robert Helpmann awards. He is a graduate of Yale College (BA) and University of California, San Diego (MFA), and is a Beinecke Fellow at Yale School of Drama.

Sarah Ruhl (PLAYWRIGHT) is thrilled to be back at Yale Rep for the fifth time. Her plays include The Clean House (Yale Rep, world premiere, 2004; Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist, PEN/Pels Foundation Award), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Demeter in the City (NAACP Image Award nomination), Eurydice (Yale Rep, 2006), In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Tony Award nomination, Best Play), Late: a cowboy song, Orlando, Melancholy Play, Passion Play (Yale Rep, 2008; Fourth Forum Freedom Award from The Kennedy Center), and Stage Kiss. Her plays have been performed at Arena Stage, Clubbed Thumb, Cornerstone Theater, Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre, Piven Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and The Wilma Theater, among other theatres across the country. Her plays have produced internationally and translated into Arabic, German, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish. Sarah is originally from Chicago and received her MFA from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, Whiting Writers' Award, PEN/Pels Foundation Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She is a proud member of New Dramatists and 13P and is an Associate Artist at Yale Rep.

Tickets for DEAR ELIZABETH range from $20-96, and are available online at, by phone at (203) 432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office (1120 Chapel Street). Student, senior, and group rates are also available.

Watch the videos below!

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