Poster art for the 1980 production of "Made By Two" at Cafe La MaMa in NYC, drawn by artist Tom Hachtman, creator of the legendary comic Gertrude's Follies and an alumnus of the Philadelphia College of Art (now The University of the Arts).


Useful "Made By Two" and Gertrude Stein links

Ann Benfer in salon.com on the happy marriage of Gertrude and Alice

Director Lawrence Kornfeld on text and subtext in staging Stein's works

The World of Gertrude Stein - illustrated biographical site

Jill Godmilow's 1987 film about Stein and Toklas

"A LYRICAL OPERA MADE BY TWO"

libretto by Gertrude Stein
music by
William Turner
directed by
Charles Gilbert



Presented by the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts
at
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA
as part of the Philadelphia International
Festival of the Arts
- BUY TICKETS!

PIFA cube

THE COMPANY

The Author - Brendan Dalton
Gertrude - Shannon Remley
Alice - Liz Giovino
Leo Stein - David Miller
Paolo/Pablo Picasso - Greg Laucella
Harriet Levy - Carrie Bauer
Fernande - Jessie Holder
Vache Enragee - Meghan Seaman

Music Director - Eric Ebbenga
Stage Manager - Lauren Gates

at left: Shannon Remley and Liz Giovino as Gertrude and Alice

As seen at the International Festival of Musical Theater in Cardiff, Wales, April 2005
View images of that earlier production here!



Director Lawrence Kornfeld on Gertrude Stein: "she was a wonderful writer, a beautiful poet, a force in contemporary literature and a powerful voice for women and men. she crept into my life early as something i didn't understand but wanted to create her plays because i didn't like not understanding something. i then got to understand her because she gave me words that put onstage my inner visions. she liberated me from literalism. she is the mother of us all." (from tenderbuttons.com)

At right: Pablo Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein

 


"A Lyrical Opera Made By Two" had its New York premiere at LaMaMa ETC in 1980, after productions at Pittsburgh's Theater Express and the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven. Charles Gilbert, the director of the current production and the head of the Musical Theater Program at The University of the Arts, was music director for the premiere production and worked closely on the piece with William Turner (who not only composed the score but created the scenario and the distinctive staging for the premiere production) during its development.

According to Turner, the work is a love story based on memories and images of the author's relationship with Alice B. Toklas, recalling the days of their flirtation, courtship and eventual liaison which was to last for some forty years. In a program note, he wrote:

"Stein and Toklas, whose names are inseparable in the public consciousness, are popularly thought of as two arty by ugly cranks who may have held hands damply but surely nothing more than that. But no! Their relationship was a passionate, jealously-laden, erotically-charged romance, consummated repeatedly, and with great pleasure, by both parties, over the course of many years. Their marriage was like any other marriage in its crises and conflicts, adaptations and adjustments, and demonstrably better than many in its devotion and longenvity.

The real reason that I'm doing 'Made By Two' is because I think it's good and important for the world to acknowledge that gay people are people like regular people. For gay people to band together as a community, for gay people to recognize about themselves and each other that their lives can be good and fine and ordinary and admirable, that's what the opera is there to show. That's why she wrote it and that's why I'm doing it."