Photo Flash: Maxine Linehan in Alloy Theater Company's BRONTË: A PORTRAIT OF CHARLOTTE

The Alloy Theater Company, a not-for-profit, performing arts organization, is staging a new production of award winning playwright William Luce's, BRONTË. The limited run engagement is currently running Off-Broadway at Theater 511, with an official opening of tonight, May 8, and plays through May 25. See below for a photo of Maxine Linehan as Charlotte in the production!

Almost 25 years ago, the legendary Julie Harris stepped onto the stage of Marine Memorial Theatre in San Francisco, as Charlotte Brontë, for the formal opening of Luce's work, which was first written as a radio piece, "until Harris prevailed upon William Luce to adapt it for the stage".

This new production of BRONTË features Irish-born actress Maxine Linehan who was most recently seen in the first national tour of Bartlett Sher's Tony award-winning revival of South Pacific. Directing this one-woman powerhouse piece is veteran theater leader Timothy Douglas, whose long list of credits includes the world premier of August Wilson's Radio Golf.

Linehan, a corporate lawyer by training, abandoned a lucrative career some years back, to pursue her passion for acting and in the process became co-founder of Alloy Theater Company. First smitten by the acting bug when she began performing as a child, she landed her first professional role at 17 in the Irish Operatic Repertory Company's production of The Sound of Music. Now she is poised and ready to step into the tour de force role as Charlotte Brontë.

BRONTË is based on letters written between Charlotte and her childhood friend and confident, Ellen Nussey. The play sheds light on Charlotte's fears, her need for love, her sense of loss and quiet suffering. Most importantly it casts light on the genius of the woman, who despite the repressive environment she grew up in, dared to challenge conventional wisdom that women "ought to confine themselves to making puddings….knitting stockings…..playing on the piano." Her fierce independence and remarkable imagination is perfectly relevant today. Almost 200 years after her birth Charlotte Brontë's writings are equally powerful and relevant anthems for the new challenges facing women in the 21st century.

The play marks Alloy Theater Company's first official Off-Broadway production. In its brief history the company has been responsible for the American premiere of Jacqueline McCarrick's The Mushroom Pickers and the first New York revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's cult hit, Tell Me On a Sunday.

Photo credit: Ronnie Wright

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