I CAN'T TELL YOU... BUT YOU FEEL IT
A new play, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson
by Eloïse Heger-Hedløy
EMILY DICKINSON (1830 - 1886) is one of the most influential poets of the modern age - but in her lifetime her name was unknown and her poetry largely unpublished. Only after her death, when her sister found and published bundles of her poems, was she recognised as a unique, innovative and powerful poet. After her death, the essayist and liberal reformer Thomas Wentworth Higginson (to whom she had sent some of her poems in 1862) wrote: "The impression of a wholly new and original poetic genius was as distinct on my mind at the first readings ... as it is now ". He judged her poetry "remarkable" but "too delicate" to publish. So, for her lifetime she remained an unacknowledged, single woman in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Inspired by Emily's life and the nearly 1,800 poems she wrote, 18-year-old Eloïse Heger-Hedløy explores the question of what makes a poet? Where does poetry come from? Does the poet chase it, or does it just emerge fully-formed in the mind. Scenes of her mundane, if chaotic, home life contrast with the creative, imaginary world she inhabits in the safety of her room as her poems take shape.
However, lurking in the darkness is the tempting, but somehow terrifying promise of “fame”. The lure of achieving celebrity begins to, literally, haunt her. The question of why she writes starts to threaten her peace of mind and even her grip on reality. In the strict social atmosphere of 19th century New England, a woman's place was the home. What chance could there be for a ground-breaking woman poet to be heard? But what is the value of a poem if it is unread? What is the point of being a poet if you're not known? Who is the poet writing for? Moving from scenes of comedy to moments of dark threat, the play looks at Emily's (and perhaps every poet's) struggle with these questions.
The BGT Theatre Company is delighted to have the opportunity to present this new and experimental piece of work by a young and promising writer and actress. Helping to develop the text through a series of workshops during the summer of 2022, this is the latest BGT play to put WOMEN CENTRE STAGE and to encourage young, new talent.
Kim Birel, Bjørn Clasen, Maya Fish, Eloïse Heger-Hedløy, Kalina Koeva
June Lowery, Ana Maia, & Lindsay Wegleitner
Lighting: Amplitude.lu Directed by Tony Kingston
Special thanks to Jean-Claude Hemmer and the staff of the Lycée Michel Rodange, Luxembourg for making this show possible.
RTL TODAY RADIO:
Eloïse is an actress who is currently on a gap year, having just graduated from the International School Of Luxembourg. During her time in school she has played numerous roles in plays and musicals. Just this summer Eloïse got a Distinction on her Grade 8 Gold Medal LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) Exam. In 2020 she portrayed Ellen “Nelly” Ternan in “The Best of Men, the Worst of Men” with the BGT English Theatre Company and subsequently appeared in various roles in “The Coronavirus Chronicles”. In summer 2022 she took a 2 week acting course at AMDA California, and will begin acting studies at The California Insitute of the Arts in autumn 2023.
Leading up to her gap year Eloïse became inspired by the poerty of Emily Dickinson, and approached the BGT about developing her concept into a full play. Over the summer, after she graduated, Eloïse wrote her first play “I can’t tell you – but you feel it – “
Kalina is a student at the European School of Luxemburg. She had her first experience at the school’s drama classes in 2018, acting in several plays there ever since, including “Kissed The Girls And Made Them Cry” by Arlene Hutton, “Greece! The play” and “Dark Road” by Laura Smith (also performed at the FEST 2022).
In 2022 Kalina had an internship with the Rotondes theater in Luxembourg city, assisting the director with the Project “VIP”, organizing the final rehearsals and helping backstage. Recently, she began attending Conservatoire du Luxembourg where she takes German diction and acting classes, currently rehearsing for the play “Bernarda Albas Haus” by Garcia Lorca and is also rehearsing Stephen Gregg's Trap for the European School Drama Group, to be performed in March 2023.
June Lowery first fell in love with theatre when the RSC started annual tours to her home town Newcastle in 1977. She met Tony Kingston at university, where they worked together on many student productions, with June in the lighting box in an all-female tech crew. A founding member of BGT eV in Berlin, she was persuaded to move from crew to cast in BGT’s 2nd production "Lettice And Lovage", and has happily mixed back stage and on stage action ever since. Favourite roles include Cordelia in "King Lear," Olivia in "Twelfth Night", Ruth in "Blithe Spirit" the lead role of Hetty Oaks in We Happy Few in December 2021. June has also adapted and written scripts for the stage, including "Jane Eyre", "Little Women" , "A Christmas Carol" and most recently BGT’s "The Best of Men, the Worst of Men".
Lindsay immersed herself in performing arts from a young age, playing regularly in school theatre pieces and studying acting at the local conservatory. After university and a brief career in Architecture, she moved from Canada to Luxembourg and happily joined the BGT. Her first role was playing Blanche Ingram in BGT's “Jane Eyre”. Since then, she has appeared in a number of BGT productions including "Opera Comique”, “Little Women”, “Blithe Spirit”, and most recently in “Charles Dickens: The Best of Men, the Worst of Men”. Like many others performers in the midst of pandemic, she was eager to get back on stage and was more than excited to take part in The Coronavirus Chronicles with BGT in February 2021. Subsequently she played the central role of Flora in We Happy Few in December 2021.
Having first been on stage at the Conservatoire in 2007 for „Goldlöckchen“, Kim started doing English Drama in school where she played in „Witch Hunt“ and „Selfie“. She joined the BGT for „Charles Dickens - The Best of Men, the Worst of Men“, in January 2020 and subsequently made her stage sword-fighting debut as Roaslind in We Happy Few in December 2021. She was scheduled to appear in The Coronavirus Chronicles earlier thiatyear, but was unable to participate when the performance dates were postponed. This is her thirs BGT production and she is also on the organising committee and treasurer for the Festival of English-Language School Theatre (FEST asbl)
Infected by the incurable theatre virus in 2007, Bjørn has been on stage in many BGT productions since — starting as Oberon in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, going via Mr.Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, to Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and then playing Dickens himself in June Lowery’s biographical Best Of Men, Worst Of Men. During the pandemic he played several roles in The Coronavirus Chronicles in February 2021 and later that year appeared as Reggie in We Happy Few. Next to his day job in human resources, he is currently studying Stage Directing at the Theaterakademie Mannheim, as part of which he recently directed a German version of Ray Cooney's Why Not Stay For Breakfast? He has also done several classes with Marcelo Diaz and has participated in three summer courses at the Actor's Space in Catalonia. He is currently exploring ways of integrating theatrical methods in his day job as a coach and facilitator and has been a co-organiser of the Festival of English-Language School Theatre (FEST) since 2019.
Ana first got involved with theatre in the European School Kirchberg drama group in 2018 and has acted in many plays since, including "Kissed The Girls And Made Them Cry" by Arelene Hutton, "War at home" by Nicole Quinn, and "Dark Road" by Laura smith (which was also performed at FEST 2022). Additionally, in FEST 2020 she also performed the play "I don't want to talk about it" by Bradley Hayward. Recently she has been taking a LAMDA grade 6 online course and will be performing in Stephen Gregg's "Trap" at the European School in March 2023.
Maya was born in Singapore and is currently in her last year at the International School of Luxembourg. Most recently she acted in a production of “Monsters” by Niklas Rastrom at FEST 2022 in Mersch, Luxembourg. She has been involved in numerous musicals and choreographed and performed in "Little Shop of Horrors" at the ISL in December 2022. From autumn 2023 she will be studying dance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.
Tony did his M.A. at St Andrews University in the mid-1980s. Since starting work as a director with Foundation Theatre on the London Fringe in 1986, he has directed over 100 shows. He moved to Berlin in 1989 with his wife June, where they co-founded the BGT English Theatre Company in 1991. The BGT became a regular feature on the off-theatre circuit there, performing a wide range of plays by English-language authors. In the early 2000s the company began visiting Luxembourg on a regular basis and since 2006 has been based exclusively in Luxembourg. Tony splits his time between running multiple theatre classes in schools around Luxembourg and directing for the BGT. Through his work in schools here, he has become convinced of the high level of theatrical ability among young people and one of his aims is to promote new and promising young talent through the BGT. In 2018 he co-founded the “Festival of English Language School Theatre” (FEST) and is currently chair of the organising committee for the event (https://www.fest.lu/). In recent years, he has also become a strong advocate of putting women centre stage. He tries to promote work by women writers and produce plays which feature mainly or exclusively female actors. Recent examples of this are Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Best Of Men - The Worst Of Men, David's RedHaired Death, The Road to Huntsville, “We Happy Few”.& Di and Viv and Rose. I Can't Tell You ... But You Feel It is the latest show to combine these aims.