A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood – Toronto Fringe 2011 Press Release

From press release

BANNED in three countries,
DESTROYED at U.S. and British customs, and considered
SHOCKING by some of the greatest literary minds of its day…..
…The memoir of a west Texas schoolteacher written in 1925

“It is perfectly clear to me that life is not worth living, but it is also equally clear that life is worth talking about.” –E. Gertrude Beasley

A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood is a theatrical adaptation of schoolteacher, journalist, and activist Gertrude Beasley’s controversial 1925 autobiography, My First Thirty Years. Published in Paris, it was immediately banned in Europe and the U.S, with over half the copies destroyed in British and American customs offices. To add insult to injury, authorities had her institutionalized for the rest of her life, but fortunately her words are no longer lost to history. Her story is an unvarnished, outspoken, unapologetically cynical and humorous tale of rural Texas told by a woman who grew up in and pulled herself out of a cycle of poverty and abuse to become an outspoken educator, journalist and advocate for women’s rights. Born ninth of thirteen children to an itinerant dirt farmer and his sharp-tongued wife, her brash views on childbirth, education, politics, and even incest and bestiality are considerably more frank than those of many contemporary feminist authours, and as performed by New Orleans actress Veronica Russell the material is shocking, subversively funny, and at times heartbreaking. Gertrude Beasley’s is a voice rarely heard in literature- a vital, acerbic survivor’s story from a woman of the rural west.

-Selected as a CAFF International Touring Production for the 2011 season!-

—“Russell’s memorable performance is understated, steadily paced, and ultimately deeply moving.” —Montreal Gazette

—“…not only amazing, but absolutely heartbreaking. (Russell) commands the undivided attention of her audience,… and has set the drama bar at an incredible height.”—Bloody Underrated

—“You will not see many performances, in or out of a Fringe, as assured and hypnotizing as Veronica Russell’s in this true story of the childhood of Gertrude Beasley…”—Charlebois Post

(New York)

“Growing up in West Texas was no picnic for this feisty proto-feminist. Russell’s subtle retelling keeps the story compelling and her audience sympathetic.”–Village Voice

“…such a strong theatrical experience. …a story of fortitude and determination, and, as humorously and smartly performed by Ms. Russell, the result is a quietly powerful mix of horror, humor and perseverance, and an intense journey into a world few New Yorkers get to experience by a first-hand source.” — Broadway World

—“…something of a miracle…her story deserves the audience it never got, and one hopes that through Russell’s work it will finally be heard.” — NYTheatre.com

(New Orleans)

—“Russell holds us spellbound… A Different Woman is local original theater at its best.”– Gambit Weekly

—“A one-woman wonder. A Different Woman: a True Story of a Texas Childhood is the best one-person show I’ve seen… Russell holds us hostage with her spellbinding talent. This is a show and a performance that could stand on any stage, anytime, anywhere, and enthrall.” — New Orleans Times-Picayune

—“It is a stunning portrayal and one that deserves to be seen to a packed house.” –The Examiner

Appearing at the Toronto FRINGE! July 6-17, 2011:
VENUE: St. Vladimir’s Theatre, 620 Spadina Ave.

Dates/ Times:
Friday, July 8,   7:00pm
Sunday, July 10,  3:30pm
Monday. July 11,  10:30pm
Tuesday, July 12,  4:30pm
Wednesday, July 13,  12:15pm
Friday, July 15,   4:00pm
Saturday, July 16,  10:30pm

Tickets/ Info: www.fringetoronto.com or phone: (416) 966-1062

Texpatriate Productions