Midcoast audiences will soon be offered an extraordinary opportunity to experience John Farrell, principal in Maine’s groundbreaking Figures of Speech Theatre, reciting from memory Four Quartets, a suite of poems often considered T.S. Eliot’s greatest.   The performance, part of Figures of Speech Theatre’s 2018 Maine Library Tour, is being co-presented by Heartwood Theater and Skidompha Library.

First premiered at Heartwood in 2011, with permission — rarely granted — from Eliot’s estate, Farrell’s recitation of Four Quartets affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in 1,000 lines of poetry exploring humankind’s relationship with time and with experience, itself.  
“Unlike encountering the poems in a book,” Farrell says, “hearing them recited out loud gives people a chance to absorb a complex and nuanced work in a very direct way. At the same time, I bring an actor's sensibility to the text and a commitment to delivering the poems in a way that allows the poetry to speak for itself.”   
Skidompha's atrium held the breath taking premiere performance, where audiences will again enjoy this unique experience on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29.  Doors will open at 7pm for the 7:30 performance.  Tickets are $10 and available only at the door (limited seating) - no advanced ticket sales.   An informal conversation with John Farrell will follow. 
Eliot completed Four Quartets in 1941, as Britain slid into the abyss of World War II, and he feared that civilization itself might perish in the coming years. Writing at the height of his artistic powers, Eliot packed into the suite of poems a summation of his views on poetry and art, on mystical experience, and on the never-ceasing search for the divine. 
The library tour’s first stop was at Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth, Maine, for a standing room-only audience. Mary Dowd, curator of Poetry at the Library, wrote: “John Farrell was our bridge to the infinitely rich world of Four Quartets, in a milestone performance that surpassed what I expected, or could even imagine.” 
The tour of Four Quartets is generously supported by the Maine Theater Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, in addition to an Arts & Humanities grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.     
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