Kelby Siddons ’06, ESJ English Instructor, recently conducted a staged reading of her play, Madame Bonaparte, in New York City. Dr. Carol Berkin, author of Wondrous Beauty: the Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, which inspired the play, was in attendance along with other historians and theatre professionals. Dr. Berkin is a CUNY professor and was the lead teacher at a Gilder-Lehrman workshop for teachers in New York City in 2015 that Ms. Siddons attended through ESJ’s Lastinger Summer Scholarship program.
The adaptation was developed over the course of the last year after Madame Bonaparte was selected to be one of two plays presented as part of Jacksonville Beach’s Players by the Sea’s New Voices program (reviewed here). It was first performed in spring of 2017 and directed by Harolyn Sharpe of FSCJ.
Producer Luke Weidner (whom Ms. Siddons met in Jacksonville when he was working on shows at Players by the Sea) of Rock Slide productions and Ms. Siddons oversaw the NYC reading at Center Park West’s newly renovated Balcony Theater space, recruiting talent, securing space, and welcoming audience members to the event.
“I plan to share my experience adapting, producing, and beginning to explore the next steps for the play with the Honors Theater class before the year is out,” shared Ms. Siddons.
Her playwriting website is kelbysiddons.com.
Top photo: L to R, seated: Natalie Faye, Joseph Walz, Scott Broughton, Christina Cruz, Allison Frasca, Celeste Hudson, Chris McIntyre, Nick Sacks. L to R, standing: Kelby Siddons, Luke Weidner.
Two performance photos: by Cathy Jones