Dear Master | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Dear Master 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

DEAR MASTER, Writers' Theatre Chicago. "I am not asking you to change your eyes; I am asking you to see more," George Sand says to Gustave Flaubert in Dorothy Bryant's Dear Master, a dialogue in letters between the two great French novelists. Bryant's adaptation of their 20-year correspondence challenges the audience to "see more" through the intense, sometimes oppositional friendship of these 19th-century visionaries.

Despite a somewhat mechanical staging by Kate Buckley, Annabel Armour and William Brown give effective, understated performances. Armour's Sand is as pervasive and subtle as incense, a charming character whose passion for justice is fired by pragmatic intelligence. Brown's Flaubert is a dowdy, tormented, cynical creature who turns to his "dear master" with the desperation and arrogance of a lonely man in self-imposed exile.

The cozy Writer's Theatre space doubles the play's intimacy. Rick Paul's simple set--two cluttered desks tucked at angles into the tiny playing area--suggests the writers' personalities and aesthetics, while Chopin's music provides an emotional sound track for the simple storytelling. Beautiful language, fascinating history, and remarkable people make Dear Master elegant and satisfying theater.

--Carol Burbank

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories