Vermont Arts Council
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Texting Through Grief

August 1 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


ARLINGTON, VT: Texting Through Grief New Play Reading and Community Dialogue sponsored by Vermont Public Theater and Arlington Common

Vermont Public Theater and Arlington Common are partnering together to present a reading of the new play Texting Through Grief, written and performed by by Drama Desk Award winning actress Mary Bacon and renowned writer James Still, with photographic projection design by accomplished photographer Gisela Gamper. The evening is designed to foster a community dialogue about how we collectively and individually process our grief. The presentation which is free and open to all, will take place on Thursday August 1, at 7:00 pm, at the Arlington Commons Performance Hall. Reservations are encouraged.

The new work being developed by Vermont Public Theater and presented in collaboration with Arlington Common, tells the story of two friends in different time zones who lose their beloved husbands within months of each other; a single text from James to Mary begins an ongoing conversation as they each confront the transformational process of grief.

“Every day we read about how isolated from each other folks are feeling these days. During the pandemic, millions of people lost loved ones- and most of us have experienced grief in one form or another. This piece felt so important to me because it gives voice to the transformative process of grieving. Ultimately, it is a play about love” Dina Janis, Artistic Director/ Vermont Public Theater.

Mary Bacon, who maintains a second home in Arlington, is a Drama Desk Award winning actress and writer, recently seen as Patti in Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s Coal Country, with original music by Steve Earle, at NYC”s Public Theater and now available on Audible. She has worked with numerous directors, playwrights, and actors throughout her career, on Broadway and off-Broadway, in select theaters around the country, and in tv and film. She’s appeared in countless world premieres, notably by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, Molly Smith Metzler, Chad Beckim, Heidi Armbruster, Kate Hammill, James Still, Theresa Rebeck, Pete Gurney, Charles Busch, Michelle Lowe, John Michael LaChiusa, Sybil Pearson, Horton Foote, Daisy Foote, A.R. (Pete) Gurney, and Tom Stoppard. She and her co-chair Heidi Armbruster founded Women Artists Writing group, which aims to develop and amplify the writing voices of mid-career women and non-binary theater artists. Mary lost her beloved husband of 25 years, Andrew Leynse, January 20, 2023.

James Still’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, South Africa, China
and Japan and have been developed at New Harmony Project, O’Neill Conference, Sundance, Seven Devils,
Colorado New Play Summit, Launch Pad, and many others. Recent work includes Everybody’s Favorite Mothers (about the founding of PFLAG) and a trilogy of linked plays: The House That Jack Built (Indiana Repertory Theatre), Appoggiatura (Denver Center Theatre), and Miranda (Illusion Theater, Minneapolis). His play When Miss Lydia Hinkley Gives A Bird the Bird was a winner of Red Bull Theater’s Short New Play Festival in New York and performed at many festivals. Still is an elected member of both the National Theatre Conference in New York and the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center. He received the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award from the William Inge Festival, the Todd McNerney New Play Prize from Spoleto, and the Indiana Authors Award for Drama. He is a four-time Pulitzer nominee for his work in the theater, and a five-time Emmy nominee for his work in television. He lives in Los Angeles.

Gisela Gamper has been known for her photography and experimental video work since 1971. In 1999, Gamper began working with video and so began a long and creative collaboration with her husband, musician and composer, David Gamper. Together they created, See Here Now, a live music and video installation that was performed and presented in New Music venues in New York and elsewhere. In 2023, she published a limited edition art-book, No Longer Sleeping Alone, distributed by Printed Matter, Inc. Most recently, Gamper’s video work, What Goes Around Comes Around was included in Screen Compositions 20 with Experimental Intermedia at Issue Project Room, curated by Katherine Liberovskaya in March 2024. A new video installation, Hear, There, Everywhere opened May 2024 as part of Harvestworks/Governors Island summer programming — on view until August 2024. Gamper’s photographs are in numerous private collections and in the collection of the Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY.

“ VPT is excited to partner with Arlington Common in hosting this multi-media event, as we both share the mission of enhancing community and wellness through the arts and culture. We hope that folks attending this event will be able to share their own experiences and engage with the playwrights as they develop this new piece about a subject that effects us all ” Dina Janis Artistic Director /Vermont Public Theater.

The event will take place on Thursday, August 1 at 7pm in the Arlington Common Performance Hall at 3938 Route 7, Arlington VT. For more information and to reserve tickets email [email protected] or [email protected]


August 1
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Vermont Public Theater
View Organizer Website


Creative Zone
Southern Vermont Zone (Bennington and Windham Counties)