Heartwood Features John Farrell in Full Recitation of T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”

“An evening of poetry is the performer’s ultimate challenge. An evening of T.S. Eliot’s poetry is the ultimate challenge’s ultimate challenge.” – Paul Kuritz, Professor of Theater, Bates College.

For two nights only, Heartwood Regional Theater Company presents John Farrell, reciting in its entirety, T.S. Eliot’s crowning poetic achievement, Four Quartets. In 2007, actor and poet Farrell set out to accomplish a goal of which he had dreamed for a quarter century. Over the next three years, he committed to memory the complete text of Four Quartets, a complex, deeply moving meditation on the human spirit, time, memory, and human striving toward the divine.

In the spring of 2011, under the direction of Heartwood’s Artistic Director, Griff Braley, with special permission from the Eliot Estate, Farrell transformed an inner vision into a staged recitation which affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in these 1,000 lines of poetry, spoken from memory. Having since recited in several locations and states, John now returns to Damariscotta, where he first performed this piece.

Kuritz continues, “John Farrell not only meets the challenges, he opens the text to the hearers’ minds in ways beyond the ability of the solitary reader. He does not act. He does not impersonate. He presents the words seriously, intelligently, and respectfully. He gives the words space to work.

“It’s difficult to imagine that anyone could walk away unmoved or unchanged by Farrell's performance,” says Norman Frisch, Film and Performance Specialist at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Visit www.figures.org/productions/FourQuartets/ for reviews and responses to previous recitations.

Two evening performances will be presented at Skidompha Library, in Damariscotta, on Thursday and Friday, November 15 and 16, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12. Seating is very limited, and reservations are highly recommended, available at 563-1373 or info@heartwoodtheater.org. For more details, visit www.heartwoodtheater.org.


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