We Wove a Web: A Brontë Play

Senior Thesis Project in Theater Studies

A dance theater piece based on the lives and writings of the Brontë sisters

I think all children, at one time or other, have imagined that they live in a different world.  A world where extraordinary things happen, where the rules of society do not apply, where anything is possible.  Over time, as we mature, these worlds usually fade away.  But for three sisters, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, these worlds did not fade.  Instead, they blossomed and flourished, so coloring the sisters’ lives that reality and imagination often became one.  At the same time, the sisters were learning how to be women in mid-19th century Britain, a limiting existence. 

 

Their lives were a constant struggle between how they saw the world of their imaginations and what the world was actually like—cold, oppressive, and tainted by a childhood full of death and disease.  Writing tales of independent, forceful, sometimes awful, but always passionate women allowed them to be the people they wanted to be, but which society would not permit.

 

In creating this play, I wanted to give the Brontë sisters a chance to go beyond the page.  To live and to move.  To breathe without corsets, to write without male pseudonyms, and to physicalize the worlds inside their minds without shame.

Rebecca Brudner as Emily Brontë
Lucy Fleming as Charlotte Brontë