Presented by the OPL Players at the Mansion House
(Oneida, NY- Feb. 2013) The Oneida Public Library presents the OPL Players in a readers theater production of “Scott and Zelda: Letters of Love in the Jazz Age” Thursday Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Big Hall of the Oneida Community Mansion House, 170 Kenwood Ave., Oneida.
Shirley Cockrell, a founder of Oneida Little Theater and a frequent actor in OPL Players’ productions, will perform the role of Zelda Fitzgerald, using Zelda’s own words from her scintillating love letters to Scott. Tom Murray is the voice of Scott Fitzgerald, reading both his letters and excerpts from his semi-autobiographical fiction.
After their marriage in 1920, the Fitzgeralds led a madcap life of parties, nights on the town and drunken sprees among the literati of New York and Europe. In their fashion, Scott was the voice of the Jazz Age, while Zelda was the epitome of the flapper. At the same time, these were the years of Scott Fitzgerald’s most productive literary output.
As the 1920s progressed, however, the Fitzgeralds’ marriage began to unravel, strained by money woes, occasional infidelities and, most of all, Zelda’s deteriorating mental state and Scott’s alcoholism.
By 1930, Scott was reduced to churning out uninspired short stories for the Saturday Evening Post to stay financially afloat, while Zelda suffered a complete mental collapse and entered the first of many psychiatric clinics.
The script of “Scott and Zelda,” put together by Murray with the help of Professor Roxana Pisiak of Morrisville State College, is divided into two short acts. The first, Courtship, reveals through Zelda’s letters and Scott’s fiction their exuberant characters and their passionate love through the course of a frequently tortuous courtship from 1918 to their marriage in early 1920.
The second, Estrangement, jumps the story to the 1930s, when bitter recriminations mingle with words of love in their correspondence.
Parking at the Mansion House is available on the Vineyard, immediately across Kenwood Ave. from the house. Admission for “Scott and Zelda” is free.
For more information, stop by Oneida Library, 220 Broad St., or call 363-3050.